THE BEACH TREES
White’s ability to showcase her characters’ flaws and strengths is one of the best in the genre. Julie is a strong protagonist with realistic struggles, and her slide into love is true to life. The mystery subplot is not all that mysterious, but the story surrounding it is so splendidly woven it will appeal regardless.
Julie’s younger sister disappeared while Julie was supposed to be watching her. So at just 12 years of age, Julie learned what it meant to be heartbroken, guilt-wracked and to never give up a search. When her best friend Monica passes away, leaving her young son Beau in Julie’s care, Julie must learn to love and be responsible for a child, and to unravel the strings of the past that have taken Monica away from her own family. Why would Monica leave her son to Julie when her family is desperate to have a relationship with Monica’s only child? (NAL, May, 403 pp., $15.00)