Sunday, February 13, 2011

Book Review: Beneath the Night Tree by Nicole Baart

Single parent Julia DeSmit is defined by the roles she fills: mother, granddaughter, sister, student, worker…. Mothering her five-year-old son and her eleven-year-old brother is the great joy of her life, but also a huge burden. Although she shares the task with her aging grandmother, Julia still feels the weight of her responsibilities. Her long time boyfriend, Michael, seems to hold the promise for a better life – security, love, shared responsibilities – but while he is in school miles away those promises remain elusive. The biggest problem that Julia faces, though, is how to maintain the closeness and love she feels with her small, unusual family once Michael becomes a permanent part of her life. Will his love hold the key to the normal life she hopes awaits her? Then without warning Julia is contacted by the last person she ever expected to hear from again – the father of her five-year-old son. With his single question - “Do I have a child?” - Julia’s well-ordered life is gone. What takes its place is the answer to the prayer that she didn't hope to pray - a prayer answered beneath the night tree.

Nicole Baart’s writing is a joy. Even though the story constantly beckoned me to turn the pages quickly, I found myself rereading paragraphs in order to savor her lyrical prose. I will certainly look for her previous books, After the Leaves Fall, Summer Snow and A Moment Between, and I look forward to her next offering.

Tyndale House Publishers provided a free copy of this book for my review.

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