Book Review: Beneath The Night Tree

8 Mar

I have thought about you every day for the past five and a half years. . . .

I’m sorry. . . .

Do I have a child?

Julia DeSmit knew she would face the question eventually, but she didn’t expect it now that she is finally content with the way her life has unfolded. A single mother to her son and younger brother, she cherishes living with her beloved grandmother and is hoping to be engaged to Michael Vermeer—the man of her dreams—by year’s end.

Then a cryptic e-mail from her son’s father spins her world off axis. She hasn’t heard from Parker since he left her in a college parking lot without a backward glance. But one look at her son—the spitting image of his father—is enough to convince her that, for better or worse, Parker is a part of their story.

Faced with this new reality and the potential unraveling of her unorthodox family, Julia begins a tightrope walk between what was, what is, and what she hopes will be in her sanctuary beneath the night tree.

Chapter 1

Nicole Baart was born and raised in a small town in Iowa.

She and her husband have three young sons. After the adoption of their infant son, Nicole discovered a deep passion for global issues and co-founded a non-profit organization, One Body One Hope, that works alongside a church and orphanage in Monrovia, Liberia. After the Leaves Fall and the sequel, Summer Snow (a 2009 Christy Award finalist for excellence in fiction), were Nicole’s first books. She is also the author of The Moment Between and Beneath the Night Tree (February 2011), the anticipated conclusion of her first two books. The inspiration for Nicole’s next novel was an unsolved murder near her hometown.

Nicole and her family live in Iowa.

My Impressions:

In Beneath The Night Tree, Nicole Baart has produced a beautifully written book.  I became immersed in the words, something not often found in today’s novels.  I envy the talent that can produce prose that sings like verse. Did I say I liked the book?  Maybe you can guess I did.

Baart tells the story of twenty-five year old, single mother, Julie DeSmit.  Julie is young but has the burdens of a much older woman.  She is raising her 5 year old son, Daniel and her 10 year old brother Simon who was abandoned by their mother.  Add to this, she is caring for her grandmother, working full-time, and attending the local college.  Sometimes she is overwhelmed, but knows that God and her long time boyfriend, Michael are standing with her.  Enter Daniel’s father, Parker, who Julie has not seen since telling him of her pregnancy.  A complicated life becomes messy.

Beneath The Night Tree is very real.  Told from a first person perspective, Julie runs the emotional gamut — joy, fear, resentment, denial.  And like a lot of us, she blocks out God’s words and plans for her life — plans that are often inconvenient or unwelcome.  But God is ever faithful, pursuing Julie, even as she continues to run.  There is something wonderful about a book that portrays God’s love and care without a sermon.  It’s like a life lived in such close step with God, that you can’t help but recognize His presence.

Beneath The Night Tree is the third book that traces the life of Julie DeSmit.  I have not read the first two and wasn’t lost at all, but I feel I have missed out on knowing the characters — their loves, fears, victories, and pain.  So before you pick this one up, get the other two.


After The Leaves Fall

Summer Snow





Highly Recommended.

(I received this book from Tyndale House Publishers in return for an honest review.  The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

2 Responses to “Book Review: Beneath The Night Tree”

  1. Sidne March 11, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    blog hopping this wonderful friday and hopped upon your site. have a nice weekend

  2. Howard Sherman March 11, 2011 at 8:42 pm #

    Wow! What a great question this week. I always peek at other people’s book piles at the checkout link at B&N. That doesn’t make me a voyeur, does it?

    The exhibitionist in me has posted my own bookstore shopping list — and it’s not as predictable as you may think!

    Hop on over to my blog for all the suspense and chills of my TBR list –

    Happy Hop Friday!

    Howard Sherman

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: