Book description from goodreads.com
Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.
Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.
Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy—until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.
Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.
READ THIS BOOK!
Seriously. This book is really great. I won’t tell you much about the story, because you can get the gist above. But you should seriously read this book.
The Sweet Gum Tree takes place over the span of 25 (ish) years. Alix is such a great character, wise beyond her years and well written. Nick is also a great character, but damaged. Alix’s family are great characters, especially her grandfather, The Judge.
This book plays on your emotions from start to finish. My only criticism would be that it was a little slow in the beginning, but I was so invested in the characters that it didn’t matter. This book may be almost 10 years old, but when you read it, you won’t realize it.
This is really an overall great story, take some time to read it.
Read it, and recommend it to others!