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The Caleb Trees Mass Market Paperback – Sep 2000


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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Powerful drama 13 Sept. 2000
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In Cooper Falls, Rhode Island, the DeWilde family seems to have attained the American dream. Jack has recently expanded his very successful real estate business. His wife Meg, who once worked as Jack's accountant, has been the prime raiser of their two children. Sixteen years old Caleb is a star pitcher on the high school team with a potential major league career ahead of him. His sister Bethany is a reasonably popular young lady.

However, the DeWilde world shatters when seemingly out of nowhere, Caleb commits suicide. Though distraught, Jack wants to forget the tragedy and return to the normalcy of the past. Bethany, haunted by her sibling's wasted death, struggles with life using anger and rebellion as weapons to keep her loved ones away. Meg mourns the loss of her child, but worries that his sister will follow suit if the family fails to learn from Caleb's lesson. Willing to risk her marriage for what she perceives is the greater good, Meg begins to explore why her teen took his life.

Dee Holmes provides fans of relationship dramas a poignant look at teen suicide. The story line haunts the reader, especially when Meg starts to understand the demons that ate away at Caleb's essence and guiltily wonders what she could have done to ease her son's mind. THE CALEB TREES is an incredible character study that provides no easy solution to the major American problem of teen suicide. However, the novel causes the audience to think about their own family relationships, perhaps the greatest achievement an author can attain.

Harriet Klausner
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Love At Its Best 14 Oct. 2000
By "rmwsreader" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm an avid romance reader and usually check the RITA Award recipients just to make sure that I've read those considered best in the genre. I hadn't read this one and decided to pick up a copy. Am I glad I made this selection. I have read other Dee Holmes novels, but the books are issued farther apart than most and I usually forget to look for them. Her books have a depth that you don't find often. While the sensual aspects are not the overriding factor, you always find that the themes are relevant to today's issues. The Caleb Trees is the story of a family devastated by suicide. Each family member deals with the tragedy in their own way. Meg, the mother, is desperate for answers, for there is no warning that a problem exists. Jack, the father, doesn't know how to deal with his grief, so he tries to go on as if nothing major has happened. Bethany, the teenage sister, goes on a rebellious spree in anger at her brothers' death. We are introduced to Caleb, the suicidal teen, who is a sensitive young man that has his own ideas as to what he wants to do with his life. Involvement in the plot is immediate. You realize how Caleb's life has touched so many others as a result of his death. This book pushes all of the emotional buttons as the plot is unraveled to reveal the ultimate conclusion. There are some surprises along the way, which keep the story moving. I thought this might be kind of depressing, but it was written well and with sensitivity. Since this sometimes happens in real life, I reflected about the need to communicate with your loved ones because life is so fragile. Buy this book if you want to read a great Romance novel that makes you think and feel good about the important things in life!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The Caleb Trees 16 Dec. 2000
By L. Pifer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book I've read by Dee Holmes. I was drawn in immediately. The author doesn't waste any time and hooks you within the first couple of pages. I felt deeply entangled in the DeWilde's pain, anger, fustration as to why Caleb committed suicide. It was totally unexpected. The mother, Meg is driven to find an answer, while her husband wants to "forget" that it happened mostly to cover his own guilt over having a one night stand with a co-worker while his son was hanging from the tree. Meg finally finds the answer she was looking for...in a journal she wasn't even sure existed. The only problem I had with this book is it tied up too neatly all the loose ends of betrayal, anger, and grief within a short period of time. Meg was much too forgiving for all the devastation she endured with her son and her husband. At the end of the book, the author didn't delve into ways Meg should/could have dealt with the shock of why Caleb killed himself and his father's involvement in the suicide. She just decided to forgive and go on, which is a nice tidey way to wrap up the book, but I would have like the book to continue with her struggle and how her husband had to EARN her trust again.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Holmes doesn't have a clue 16 Nov. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this novel, 16-year-old Caleb DeWilde kills himself for reasons revealed to his mother, Meg, at the end of the book. Right at the very end, Meg feels "a deep sense of contentment." This book takes place over a time period of less than 2 months. A mother feels contentment 2 months after her son kills himself? My goodness, when someone loses a loved one suddenly, it takes months if not years for the survivors to feel any happiness at all, let alone "contentment." Holmes writes that her characters want to have a happy family life like it was before. She leaves the reader with the feeling that this will be achieved in the near future. When you lose a child, your life is completely changed and things are NEVER as they were before. I know couples who've lost children years ago and the pain is still sharp. I can't believe how little the author understands about the pain and enduring grief that comes with losing a loved one. I am almost offended.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Suicide, Adultery, and Romance 28 Sept. 2000
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Caleb Trees is about Meg DeWilde's attempts to deal with her son Caleb's suicide, to find a reason for such a terrible tragedy. Meg can't put the death behind her, rejecting her husband Jack's belief that they must move on with their lives before Caleb's suicide destroys their whole family. The reader's sympathy for Jack is reduced by his adultery.
Still, Jack is right. Although Meg finally does discover a reason, the reader is left wondering whether she and the entire family might not have been better off had she dealt with her loss rather than sought an answer.
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