Flashback Friday 7/18: The Sweet Gum Tree

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Flashback Friday is a weekly meme that was created by The Autumn Review.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

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.

This is a perfect example of how you should never judge a book by it’s cover.  But look at it – it’s pretty ugly, right?! I am the first to admit that I judge books by their covers all the time.  And I would have never ever picked up this book, if it weren’t for several friends on Goodreads recommending it to me.  And when I finally read it, I was so mad at myself for not reading it sooner.  It is one of the most wonderful books I have ever read.  If you’re looking for a beautiful, emotional story that is absolutely un-put-downable – I can’t recommend this book enough!

My Review from 2012:

First of all I’m mad at myself for waiting so long to read this book. It’s another gem that had been on my Kindle awhile and I kept putting it off. This book was incredible. I can not recommend it enough. Go.read.it.now!

What an emotional roller coaster! I practically held my breath reading this entire book – if was so heart breaking, but so wonderful. Every single bit of it. I found myself crying or holding back sobs during most of it. I couldn’t put it down and found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading. 

The love Nick and Alix had – it was incredible. It broke my heart everytime they went through something horrible, which happened a lot in this book. But there were also wonderful moments where my heart was bursting because their love was so consuming and intense.

This book is told from Alix’s point of view. She starts from the beginning of her childhood when she met Nick until present day. I loved how it was written in a way that sucks you in and won’t let go. An absolutely beautiful story – I highly recommend this book to everyone.

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3 thoughts on “Flashback Friday 7/18: The Sweet Gum Tree

  1. Sheila (Book Journey) says:

    I agree… I looked at the cover pick and started skimming your review…. *guilty*. It is too bad, but I think most of us do that. If you walk into a book store (HEAVEN!) and you are looking for something to read, it is the cover that first attracts us.

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