Rated of 5
by Marion H. (Port Angeles, WA) "Roots" for Some
If you like a charming multigenerational family story, "The Roots of the Olive Tree" is for you. But I expected more from this book when the theme of a life-prolonging gene mutation present in the five living generations of the female members of this family was introduced. After all, the title does include the word, "roots!" A confirmation of this theory was to be found in Australia, but the author never takes the reader there. So in the end, this book was a pleasant read with characters not particularly memorable, with relationships not particularly interesting and with a plot not particularly engaging. I do want to thank the author for naming her characters in alphabetical order according to their place in the family: Anna, Bets, Callie, Deb and Erin. This did help me to distinguish the characters' storyline one from the other.
Rated of 5
by Dorothy T. The symbol of the olive tree
The roots of the olive tree is not the symbol of this family, but rather the grafting of new species of olives onto established trees. I found this book a disappointment on several levels. I had difficulty becoming engaged in the lives and personalities of the characters, even as old family secrets were revealed, but I do give credit to the author for putting them in alphabetical order--it was very helpful for keeping the five women straight. I also felt that the novel didn't so much as end as it stopped; there were too many threads of the story that were not sewn up. The secondary story about the theory of aging was interesting and believable, and I liked the use of flashbacks to fill out the stories while keeping the present moving along.
Rated of 5
by Molly K. (San Jose, CA) Fruits of the Olive Tree
SoI really wanted to like this book, and it began with the promise of exploring and developing the relationships among six generations of women.
But, then, nothing much happened. The secrets were hardly remarkable; the research project seemed out of place; and the love affair and subsequent marriage between Callie and the professor had no fire.
I enjoyed the way the story ambled along; it just didn't arrive anywhere. I wish there had been more stories about the olive ranch as a beacon for this family.
Overall, I must give credit for a first offering. I might have enjoyed the story a lot more if the author had concentrated on the stories of the women and left the dollops of fantasy and clinical research for another effort.
Rated of 5
by Mary Ellen L. (Canfield, OH) Roots of the Olive Tree
This is an engaging novel of five generations of women, each with amazing longevity, hidden strength and an intriguing story. Their many secrets unfold, although somewhat slowly, throughout the novel as the women question revealing them. The novel's setting on an olive tree farm in Northern California was also interesting to this Midwestern reader.
Rated of 5
by Brenda D. (Lincoln, CA) The Roots of the Olive Tree
A well written, imaginative story about a family of five generations of women. As with all families, there are secrets and those secrets, like the roots of trees, tend to spread out and tangle and have an effect on everyone. I was especially drawn to this book because I live in the general area of its locale and setting is an important part of the story. The characters also come alive, with all of their faults. As you read, you begin to find out how each woman has come to where she is in her life. The only real criticism I have is that the story does a lot of switching back and forth in time, and sometimes a reference to "grandmother" is not very clear, as there are several grandmothers in the story.
This will definitely be a book that I recommend to my book group, as there are many discussable issues.
Rated of 5
by Andrienne G. (Azusa Library, CA) Engaging story about strong women and their secrets
I was very interested in reading this book and it was a satisfying one. For one, the writing is really good--how it flows, what's said, and what's depicted. I rate books poorly even when the plot is strong but the writing is so shoddy. Just like appetizers, this book needs to be savored, you can't rush a fiction book. This book had a huge cast of characters with each of their stories brought to light in each chapter--helpful because each character is given appropriate attention to move the story along. My favorite character is the matriarch of course, her story doesn't have too many twists in it (two of the women had much interesting secrets), but maybe I have a soft spot for great-great-grandmothers. All of the women had great personalities, probably Erin is the least interesting to me, maybe just as well because she doesn't have enough experience and so it is to be expected. This book doesn't highlight the secrets so much as just letting the women's stories unravel. Reading this book feels like a typical gossip session amongst relatives--surprising and intriguing but not too over the top. This is definitely good book club material.
U.S. ebook sales up in 2012, but rate of growth is slowing(May 16 2013) In 2012, trade book sales (i.e. non academic book sales) rose 6.9%, to $15.049 billion, and e-book sales continued to grow, although the rate of growth...