Sweet Gum Tree
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 heal.
” A sweet gum tree is the chameleon of wood, its corky extrerior hiding its inner ability to imitate anything from cherry to mahogany. But its real value, one unrealized by most people, is its deep red heart, steady and strong. They see only, the pale fibrous wood, easily warped, that surrounds the core “
AMAZING AMAZING Story!!!!
I was a mess ( in a good way ) when I was reading this book. Once I opened up the first page, I was unable to put it down till the last page. It’s a story about friendship, heartache, forgiveness and undying love.
Although I would love to re tell what this book is about, synopsis ( top ) pretty much gives you the idea without really spoiling anything . I haven’t read anything this great in a very long time. I felt every heartache each of the characters endured. I was such a mess after the first half that I actually had to take a smoke break just to ease myself. This was just perfectly written. The author did an amazing job with the development of the two main characters; from being childhood friends to lovers. Although this story is filled with a lot of heartbreaks, it felt like there was was just enough to keep you holding on. This story shows us that no matter what, true love is able to forgive and withstand any obstacles that comes their way.
( Alix and Nick ( teen ) )
“I’ll marry you,” I told him decisively. “That way, we can both have kids someday.”
He grinned, those dimples emerging in a blaze of glory. “Yeah, you probably would.”
Alix ( adult )
“Do you want to know the real reason I came back, Alix?” It was because of you. You’re my roots. Wherever you are would be home to me.”
Nick ( adult )
“He always was someone. Because the core of the sweet gum tree never changes. Like Nick, the deep red wood stays true to its nature. Strong, and steady, and pure.”
“You’re the only one I’ve ever wanted, Alix, the only one I’ll ever want. That’s a promise.”
“You can’t turn love on and off like a light switch, no matter how hard you try. All you can do is wall it off, one brick at a time, until you’ve created an impenetrable fortress around your emotions. And once that fortress is built, you camouflage it so well that even you can’t see it anymore.”
“To my surprise, Nick reached under his shirt and pulled out the half-heart pendant. With his gaze fixed on mine, he slid the chain over my head. “No one should have to go through life with only half a heart,” he whispered.”
* soundtrack *
1. The Album Leaf- Always For You
2. The Head and the Heart – Heaven Go Easy on Me
3. Angus and Julia Stone – A Heartbreak
4. Sinead Fahey and Julian Roso – I Will Give You the Moon
5. Julian Roso – Never FOrget
6. Ray LaMontagne – Let IT Be
This will be at the top of my, “favorite love story list.” It is such a roller coaster of events that it feels so true to life. I cannot say much about it because I want you to be able to experience it for yourself. I don’t think I will be able to ever look at a sweet gum tree as just a tree after this book. Alix and Nick’s love story will truly remain in my heart.