The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred


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.

Book: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred (Goodreads, Amazon)
Published: May 12, 2005
Pages: 304
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Drama
Format: Kindle
Date Read: September 14-15, 2015
Rating: Five Potatoes! 🥔🥔🥔🥔🥔

I absolutely loved this book! I loved the characters and the love they shared growing up. And I’m always a sucker for a happy ending! The author definitely has a way with words and telling an enchanting story as I literally could not put this book down.

That being said, I was annoyed with the lack of communication between the characters – so many misunderstandings could have been prevented by just trusting your significant other and being honest. But, alas, that was not the case here. I also get frustrated when an author skips years into the future, in this book she skipped 15 years! I don’t mind it when an author skips a year or two to show a future happily ever after scene or something but skipping ahead to resolve things, no, I don’t like it.

All in all though, I did love this book. Nick was absolutely yummy and I thought that Jenna was actually a really good friend overall. Again though, a lot of hurt could have been prevented by proper communication. But, then the author wouldn’t have much of a story would she? Such a double edged sword.

Five stars, and I will definitely read any other books this author has!

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