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The Roots of the Olive Tree

A Novel

by Courtney Miller Santo

The Roots of the Olive Tree
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • Published in USA  Aug 2012
    320 pages
    Genre: Novels

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There are currently 25 reader reviews for The Roots of the Olive Tree
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Power Reviewer Louise J (09/17/12)

Superbly Crafted Debut Novel!!
For a debut novel, Courtney Miller Santo has done a remarkable job in writing this novel. The story was superbly engaging, the characters were very well developed, and really gave a believable voice of each of the women. I won’t have any trouble recommending The Roots of the Olive Tree to everyone I know. I loved the cover of this book and it was an all-round super read! I was sorry to see it end.
Judy W. (Tucker, GA) (09/05/12)

Roots of the Olive Tree
This novel was a good read, but nothing exceptional. It is an intriguing theory which is set forth by the author. Although the author sought to leave the reader with a surprise ending, I thought it was too far-fetched.
Betsy R. (Gig Harbor, WA) (08/23/12)

One of the summer's best
I purposely saved my copy of The Roots of the Olive Tree for a vacation because I could tell it would be the kind of book that be perfect-and it was. I love family stories, particularly when they center around women as I have three sisters and three daughters. Much of the family story resonated with me but I also liked the setting and the background of the olives and all that goes into growing, processing and marketing them. I would definitely recommend this book to my book club.
Bonnie D. (Brecksville, OH) (08/06/12)

Roots of the Olive Tree
Meet five generations of intriguing women who live together in the old family home in an olive grove in northern California. I was immediately drawn into the world and history of these women, especially 112-year-old Anna and her 90-year-old daughter, Bets. As their stories unfolded, I needed to keep reading to discover more about their past and family history. The writing is strong and nicely flows from one woman’s story to another. The Kellers are far from perfect. They have long kept secrets and strained relationships, but they are deeply connected by their DNA. Anna tells her great, great granddaughter Erin that “roots” are important whether they belong to a tree or to a family. Book discussion groups will have plenty to talk about.
Jacqueline S. (Gladstone, MO) (08/03/12)

A Good Read
I enjoyed this book, it had the important ingredients: strong characters that I cared about and was interested in and a good story that moved along. The author had me involved from the beginning, and I was curious to know what the outcome of the different situations with each character would be. I was disappointed with the ending: the trip to Austrailia was never described or really discussed-and it was a big, important piece of Anna's story. The last chapter felt tacked on as a quick ending for the book. After investing in these women's lives, I wanted to know what happened to them in more detail. I also was disappointed that Bets died-I realize the symobolism of that-the end of secrets, etc. BUT, it was not the end of secrets and the break in that amazing line of women was a let down. This book was still a good read and it will be fun to see what the author comes up with in her next novel.
Joy N. (Gilbert, AZ) (08/01/12)

The Roots of the Olive Tree
I did enjoy this book. The story told from various viewpoints kept me engaged. There were several twists and turns that I didn't expect. A very entertaining summer read.
Sally G. (Saint Johns, FL) (07/30/12)

This story has five generations of women all in the same home. The story catches you in the beginning and attaches you to one of the women. It progresses to the secrets and loves that women hide in their hearts.
Buy a jar of olives and let your tongue roll around it as your mind wanders through the olive groves.
Kay K. (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) (07/25/12)

The Roots of the Olive Tree (or secret lives among the olives)
The secrets in this book are what lured me in and kept me reading. The Keller women were real people and they all have secrets, bigger secrets than most of us. Anna becomes the oldest living person alive and her secret may be part of the answer of why these women seem not to age. The drama of life surrounded Calliope and her daughter, Deb, and Deb's daughter. But the real drama was with Bets. I didn't like Bets in the beginning but she became my favorite character. So you are really getting the story of five women which are separate from the others but still entangled with them. The olives and family bring them all together in the place of their origin.

This book is rich in ideas for discussion and would be a superb book for a book club, more so for women and those with some life experience.

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