The Roots of the Olive Tree

The Roots of the Olive Tree

eBook - 2012
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An extraordinary new voice in contemporary woman's fiction, Courtney Miller Santo makes her magnificent debut with The Roots of the Olive Tree, a novel that will delight fans of Sarah Blake's The Postmistress, The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd, and the works of Kristin Hannah.

Set in a house on an olive grove in northern California, The Roots of the Olive Tree is a beautiful, touching story that brings to life five generations of women—including an unforgettable 112-year-old matriarch determined to break all Guinness longevity records—the secrets and lies that divide them and the love that ultimately ties them together.


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Dec 16, 2013

This is a tedious book. The women in the family are not interesting except for their ages. Their lives are mind-numbingly dull. They don't go anywhere or do anything except wander around the olive groves both physically and emotionally. They don't get along with each other yet insist on living under the same roof except for one who's in prison. Their lives are tiresome, and the "secrets" the book jacket keeps promising are banal. "That's all?" I kept asking. The first secret is so utterly unlikely that I kept thinking there must be something more to it; this couldn't possibly be meant as the entire premise for the book. The second secret is of the who-cares variety, because the only people to whom it would matter are ancient men who live far away and never appear in the book except to be referred to collectively as "the boys".
This book was a big bore. Don't bother to read it.

ChristchurchLib Aug 20, 2013

"Five generations of first-born women in the Keller family live together among Northern California's olive groves. Matriarch Anna is 112 and wants to be the oldest person in the world; she's attracted the attention of a geneticist who wonders if the Keller genes contain the secret to slowing down the aging process. What he discovers in their DNA churns up old secrets, while the return of the now-pregnant youngest daughter, followed by her mother (recently released from prison after killing her husband many years previously), stir up more drama. With stunning descriptions of the olive orchards and plenty in the way of family relationships, this leisurely paced novel offers the perspective of each of the characters in turn." August 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

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