Danielle's Reviews > The Roots of the Olive Tree

The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
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Sep 14, 12

bookshelves: 2012
Read from September 03 to 07, 2012

Dear Courtney Miller Santo,
Your novel, The Roots of the Olive Tree, helped me consider the implications of aging, and of growing older--and that they are not necessarily one and the same. You wrote your characters so well that I did not imagine them as old, old women--let me explain. They didn't sound like old women, and that, I believe, was the point. They sounded like women who were old, but aged.

I didn't really like or understand the ending. I guess I don't like books that have a vague, ambiguous ending. I felt that several of your plots were slightly unresolved.

The novel made me question: Do I want to live a long life? Not that I have any desire to die anytime soon, but isn't it funny that we assume everyone wants to live a very long time? Do I want to live past 85 or 90? My grandmother with the most longevity died at 85, twenty-five years after her husband passed. Do I want to live twenty-five years longer than my husband? Do I want to be so old that my children are closer in age than most of the people around me? I suppose, if everyone lives to be quite old, that will not be a problem. This book brought those questions that I didn't even know I had, to light. Perhaps that's the mark of a thoughtful book: that it challenges presumptions you did not know you had.

I don't know if I want to live past 100--considering how much the world has changed even in the twenty-seven years of my existence, I wonder what 2085 will be like? Will I even like the world that exists in 2085 to want to be around for it?

I don't know.

Sincerely,
Twenty-Seven going on One Hundred
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