Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Roots of the Olive Tree

Title:  The Roots of the Olive Tree
Author:  Courtney Miller Santo
Publication Information:  William Morrow, HaperCollins Publishers. 2012. 306 pages.

Book Source:  I received this book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program free of cost in exchange for an honest review. The book arrived as a paperback edition.

Favorite Quote:  "It wasn't God's way to stick you with people who were easy to like - life was all a big test ... God never gave one commandment about liking a person and she'd learned over the years that it was possible to love without having a lot of like in your heart."

The Roots of the Olive Tree is a story of five generation of women. Anna is the matriarch of the family and have lived to become the oldest person in the world. Elizabeth or Bets is next. Then come Callie, Deb, and Erin. Added to the mix is the geneticist studying the Keller family to determine the reason for the longevity of these women. Also added to this is the lovely California setting of the Keller family olive farm which has a history of its own.

Anna's story in buried in secrets in the past. Bets is occupied with her ailing husband. Callie is in search of her own life. Deb is paying for mistakes of the past. Erin is trying to forge her own way and has come home, pregnant and alone.

This book and story never really comes together for me. The individual stories of the women could have been interesting, but they are not fully developed in an effort to address all of them. The individual characters and their relationships could have been interesting, but again are not fully developed. The book seems to hover at the surface of these stories without delving deeper. As such, it keeps the reader at bay and not fully engaged in the story.

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