I finished reading “Beneath the Night Tree” by Nicole Baart around midnight, knowing the kids would be up early because they’d gone to bed early. Maybe it wasn’t the best idea, but I had to know how Julia DeSmit’s story ended.
Julia’s story begins in “After the Leaves Fall” and continues in “Summer Snow,” two books I couldn’t get enough of. And because I don’t want to give too much away about the plot, this review will be less about “Beneath the Night Tree” and more about Baart’s writing style and the stories as a whole.
Honestly, there’s too much to say, so I’ll start with a word: Love! Baart’s writing is refreshing, colorful and imaginative. I could read and reread these stories just to enjoy the word pictures she artfully paints. I connected with Julia even though we have little in common. By the end of the series, I wanted to Facebook friend her, at the very least, or meet her for coffee.
The same holds true for the author. If her personality is reflected on the pages of her novels, then I’d love to have coffee with Baart as well and talk about writing, life and ministry. Reading her bio notes, I felt like her words about herself could have described parts of my life.
The journey readers take with Julia from book 1 to book 3 is heartbreaking yet hopeful. It’s also honest and believable. I’ve never been to the part of Iowa where her story is set, but growing up in Illinois, I felt like I knew the places after reading her descriptions of farmland and changing seasons and rural living. It made me long for home.
Do I have to say more? READ THESE BOOKS! They’re a literary treat that will whet your appetite for more from Baart.
“Beneath the Night Tree” is one of the books on the list for Tyndale’s Summer Reading Program. To join, click here. This is the fifth book I’ve read for the program, so I’ll have a free one coming my way soon. If you like to read and like to get free stuff, I recommend joining the program. It’s introducing me to new authors and new stories and giving me lots of good reading material for the summer.