Review: The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred

Have you ever read a book that made you sit there for a couple of hours afterwards with an ache in your chest?

If your answer is no, then you need to read this. If your answer is yes, then what are you waiting for? Grab this book and start reading!

I love Allred's writing style. She wrote this book from the first person perspective of her main protagonist, Alix French. The story starts with her at the age of eight, and continues chronologically. Since this is almost a retelling of her life, Alix becomes a narrator, often reflecting how she would have done something different if she had an inkling of what the future would hold.
The ache that trapped itself within my throat was due to the emotional turmoil this book put me through. From the very beginning I was invested in Alix and Nick's friendship, which gradually becomes love as they grow up together.
Nick is strong, loving and compassionate, but he is also vulnerable. I liked this element of his character since it made him less of a 2 dimensional character, like most heroes in books these days. Authors have all hopped on the bandwagon of egoistic/dominant men who are uncouth and bordering on savage. But, Nick wears his heart on his sleeve, and due to his need to help people whom have secrets that cannot be shared; it puts him in a hard position and creates strain on his and Alix's relationship.
This is a story of friendship, love and the raw emotional turmoil of humanity. When bad circumstances happen do you fight for what you want, stick it out and make it work? Or do you tuck tail, shut off your emotions and vow never to let that feeling of love overwhelm you again?
I know what my choice would be and I bet you know yours, but the question is - What are Alix and Nick's?

This novel reminded me of Harper Lee's - To Kill and Mocking Bird. As previously mentioned before, this is one of my favourite books. Perhaps the similarity lies within Alix as a young girl, she's very similar to Scout, through her curiosity, strong will and intelligence.

I've read this novel twice now and whilst writing this review it's made me want to read it cover-to-cover again.

Happy Reading - This is highly recommended.

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