Annmarie's Reviews > The Roots of the Olive Tree

The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
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's review
Aug 10, 2012

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bookshelves: contemporary, families, intergenerational
Read from August 10 to 18, 2012

A debut novel from an author originally from Oregon about five generations of women, set on their old family olive orchard in central California. The matriarch is 112-year-old Anna, who is determined to become the oldest living person. Is it the olive oil from the heritage groves she still maintains (with the help of hired pickers) that keep her and her female descendants so healthy? Geneticist Amrit Hashmi would like to know, and his visits frame the novel while the gradually revealed tensions, secrets and relationships between the women form the content; the narrator moves from one character to the next in varying chapters. A little bumpy in spots, but a promising debut and the setting is evocative. I'd recommend to readers of intergenerational fiction featuring women like Anne Rivers Siddons and the like.

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