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The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Christine Nolfi
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Jul 03, 2012

it was amazing

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge
Christine Nolfi
The lives of so many people can change with the stroke of a clock or the strike of a match. Knowledge is power and sometime what we learn about another person when revealed can do more harm than keeping what we’ve learned secret. Within this novel there are many layers, many intricacies and many webs that once pulled back, opened up and released will not only change the dynamics of a wealthy family but fragility of its structure. Facing your past and reliving it will either strengthen a person or destroy them. Ourania D’Andre is a strong willed, smart, no holds barred woman determined to make her mark. Winning the bid on an electrical contract for the Fagan family was a definite coo for Ourania. But, not everyone assigned to the project and working on the mansion’s renovations welcomed her. First, there is Troy, the one person whose path she prefers not to cross for more reasons than one. But, in charge of this project and much to his chagrin, he is as you might say stuck with Ourania since his sister hired her and refuses to allow him to find another electrician. The Fagan’s run and operate a multi-million dollar orchid business which also ships produce all of the United States. The company has made each member of the family quite wealthy. Troy departed the family business to work on the renovations, which eventually would rekindle his memories of his deceased brother and his murder 15 years ago. Jason Fagan would once again come between Troy and Ourania as their pasts would be revealed, secrets and lies told, deceits and cover-ups no longer hidden as I review The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by author Christine Nolfi.

Spearheading the renovations Troy is a hardnosed boss and tolerates not distractions, delays or deviations from his work schedule. But, when Ourania is late several times, missing an important meeting confronting

Their son Troy had left the family business to work in construction and he was working on the renovation for his family. Troy is feeling anxious about the renovations due to the part of the house that they were renovating was his teenage brother, Jason's room. Jason had been murdered fifteen years ago. Men often have their own prejudices when working with woman and some of the tradesmen or sub contractors resented her being awarded the contract and have no trouble letting her know it. But, as the author allows the reader to get to know her better we learn she is not one to back down no matter what.

Children face difficulties everyday it is part of growing up. But, no child should ever withstand the beatings, berating and abuse of an adult. Emma and Walt are two lost souls who find themselves sent to live with Ourania until their father goes through anger therapy or the social worker and the courts send them back. Lianna D’Andre, Ourania’s mother manages and runs Jobs and Family Services and makes sure that the children whose cases come to her are placed in safe care and in good homes. Lianna goes before many state judges championing the causes of these abused children and hopefully bringing the issue to light in the media. When Lianna asks Ourania to take in Walt and Emma she declines knowing that it might jeopardize her job with the Fagans. But meeting them and realizing their needs she agrees. Accepting these children in her home and learning their past, trying to cope with a difficult employer and what secrets she is about to uncover would create more than just tension and the need for her to chuck down more antacids. But, within the massive walls and structure secrets are hidden, lies that not have been revealed will be as Ourania finds something as powerful as Pandora’s box and what she unleashes will definitely not be hope.

Jason Fagan was murdered and no one has been in his room ever since. During the renovations the contractors have to break into Jason’s bedroom and working in their Ourania finds a box containing letters. These letters open up many questions that she wants answered and some lead back to Troy, his mother and hers too. But, first the author tells the story of Emma and Walt and their life with their father in a sad flashback that will bring chills down your spine. Added to that she recounts the history of the letters, who wrote them and the relationship of the writer to one of the Fagan family.

The Great Oak Tree that stands tall has secrets of its own. As we meet more of her family we come to love Uncle Gino and Bess. They add flavor and definitely humor to the story as they bond with both children. The tree stands tall and people believe it to have magical powers. When a full moon comes about lovers gather there to receive it’s blessing. But, the tree has its own deep dark secrets too? Ourania has an assistant named Squeak who brings his dog to the site. But, one mason injured him and the culprit will link two parts of the story together and bring to light what happens when the system does not really look long and hard at an abusive parent. As the truths unfold and the layers blend together what happens will not only change Troy’s life but the two foster children too. The secrets in those letters revealed as Ourania shares their contents with him. Another life is intertwined with his and the truth behind an incident that happened many years before would link the Fagans with someone they would choose to forget. As the judge does not see the light, the truth and the children are returned to the their father. What will Troy and Ourania do to save these two from harm? Why would they intervene and what power does the Great Oak Tree have and what secrets lie beneath its tall branches?

An ending so gripping and riveting you won’t stop reading until you find out the dramatic ending as you fall in love with Walt, Emma and an entire cast of characters that are real, genuine and definitely quite special. As Troy learns a hidden truth he begins to understand his connection to Walt and Emma. Government agencies do not always protect the children and return them to abusive parents. The issues of both sexual, rape and physical abuse are brought to light in many flashbacks seen through the minds of both Walt and Emma and one other character. What is the end result? In order to come to peace with the past both Ourania had to face the truth in the present. The guilt they both carried for Jason’s death needs to be released before they can move ahead with their own lives. An ending that will surprise the reader and a family that learns that secrets need to be told and lies can only hurt if not revealed. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge has secrets within its tall trunk and love and forgiveness within each of its branches. Knowledge is powerful and the power of forgiveness and love even more. This is one great novel that educators, guidance counselors, family and social workers should read. Children are precious and no one should endure abuse. Let’s give this book: FIVE SPECIAL GOLDEN BRANCHES FILLED WITH LOVE FOR EMMA AND WALT

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine Nolfi Fran, a thousand thanks for the heartfelt review.

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