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Olive Branches Don't Grow On Trees

3.17  ·  Rating details ·  575 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Silvia Greco's family is anything but peaceful and hasn't been together in over six years. But when her brother graduates high school, Silvia is drafted into helping her mother organize a family gathering and welcomes the challenge. In her journey to make peace in her quirky, feuding family, she learns that peace isn't something that's freely existing but something that ne ...more
Kindle Edition, 213 pages
Published July 9th 2012 by Amazon Digital Services (first published 2012)
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Yvonne (Fiction Books)
Jun 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Yvonne (Fiction Books) by: Author Review Request
"It was the sound of togetherness. The sound of six becoming one. The sound that rises above it all. The sound of peace."

There is a phrase, with its origins in The Bible, which sprang very much to mind as I was reading this book, which goes something along the lines of .. `the sins of the fathers shall be visited upon the sons'.

We have a storyline, totally character driven, which in itself isn't very far reaching for the wider community at large, revolves around the inter-personal relationships
CRM Sanders
Nov 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Poignant, hilarious

Sylvia Greco is the middle child of a large, dysfunctional New Jersey Italian family. Although smart with vague creative ambitions, she fritters her life away working dead-end, menial jobs, pulling one geographic after the next, always dreaming about the next 'it' city (Portland, Seattle)to relocate where she will settle down and at last find peace. Her parents are newly divorced and her siblings are at war, insisting she choose sides. Typical of a middle child, she tries to m
Oct 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
It took me a long time to read this. I felt that it moved to slowly and repetetive.
Oct 15, 2012 rated it really liked it
I loved the story and didn't want it to end.
Sep 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Olive Branches Don't Grow On Trees is a poignant portrait of an extremely dysfunctional southern New Jersey Italian-American family, and the attempt by the middle daughter to bring the family together for a celebration in the hope that they could extend the olive branch and make peace with each other and become a family. Thoughtfully written in the third person narrative, the author weaves a tale that deals with the dynamics of a family with a history of dysfunction that has completely shattered ...more
Robin Levin
Jul 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Perhaps the worst part of growing up in a family with an alcoholic parent is the unpredictability of the alcoholic parent's behavior. In the Greco family, the behavior of the alcoholic father, Frank, is almost too predictable. Silvia can remember only two Christmases that were not marred by an outburst of temper from her father. As a young adult she can clearly see the damage that her father's alcoholism has visited upon every member of her family. The fault lines are only too clear. Her sister ...more
Sep 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
A truly enjoyable read, Olive Branches Don’t Grow on Trees is perfect for a cozy evening snuggling under a blanket, blocking out the world. With several short fiction stories under her belt Grace turned her attention to writing a book hitting a home run for a debut novel.

Meet Silvia Greco, she is the epitome of a starving artist trying to find herself having spent the last few years shuffling from state to state and job to job. One of the main reasons Silvia is so misplaced is being part of a h
J Gadbois
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book! It's well written, it's witty, and it's a genuinely moving story of a very interesting and unique Italian American family, told through the eyes of a young woman trying to make peace with her family under not exactly ideal conditions.

It's a real "slice-of-life". The characters are simply delightful. They really come off of the page and LIVE, and I found myself truly hoping for their well-being. Grace Mattioli's writing is quite humorous at times.

Some of
Nov 06, 2016 rated it liked it
One can tell this story is written from the heart.
Gloria Bernal
Nov 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The perfect title for this little gem. Not your typical depressing story of a dysfunctional family. This is written with poignancy, is creative and humorous at times, and mixes this with a big dose of reality, albeit not all pretty, but with much hope and determination.

Set in New Jersey, we become acquainted with the main character, Silvia, who is in her early 20's, a recent graduate with a Fine Arts degree. She is dealing with her own eccentricities. We don't understand her initially, but as th
Jul 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
Poignant, sweet and addictive, Olive Branches Don't Grow on Tress is well written book about the dynamics of an Italian family. Olive Branches Don't Grow on Tress is a about a family ripped apart by alcoholism. It based around Silvia who tries to bring the family together. She is a great character, fresh out of university and in need of reassurance from the world. She is like most graduates unsure of how her life got so boring and inconsistent with her dreams. I found her story and her worries t ...more
Margaret Brown
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This small book, like its main character (Sylvia Greco) is packed with energy and vitality. This is a family saga; each family member is a distinct piece in the larger puzzle of the Greco family. The Grecos are a large New Jersey family of Italian descent headed up by a functioning alcoholic whose home is falling apart but who is never late to work. He is a judge and well-respected in the community. At home he flies into drunken rages and cuts his children to the quick with his remarks and threa ...more

Grace Mattioli brilliantly weaves an account of the Greco family's coping with Frank, their alcoholic father, who is still a functioning courtroom judge, and their mother, Donna, who has finally left him. Their daughter, Silvia Greco, precocious, offbeat, lonely, self-doubting, now back at the family house, longs for "normal" family events, relationships and support. Sylvia is remorseful of her past experiences in other cities, upset about not findng a job that makes her happy, but most of all,
Oct 27, 2015 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I very much enjoyed this book. As a New Jersey native, I found it to be a more accurate representation of life in the nation's armpit than other depictions out there. Sylvia Greco and her trials with her family are very real and relatable, and the Greco family's dynamics engage the reader from beginning to end.

The characters were also very well-developed. For instance, my immediate response to Sylvia's father was fear and uneasiness - especially when he was inebriated and behaving poorly. But a
Dec 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I normally try not to get involved in a book that's part of a series, because I've found I lose track of them and just never finish. I read this one because I had downloaded "Discovery of an Eagle" as a freebie, only to find that it was the second book of a trilogy. Well, lo and behold "Olive Branches" was also available as a freebie (yes, I'm frugal), so I took a chance and downloaded it also. "Olive Branches" was an interesting, easy, quick read. The dysfunctions of the family are sad, and I f ...more
Feb 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fun and exciting read about a a family. The characters vividly come alive and capture your mind and spirit. They are believable and intuitive. There is a quality of spiritual in the father daughter relationship. You get caught up in Silvia's world and you know you have been there yourself.

I found her endearing and I was rooting for her to reach that closeness she desired with her brother.

We have all had those times where we feel we don't belong in a family or turn away. Silvia giv
Jeffy Jose
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Mattioli certainly put in a lot of thought into this lovely book. It felt as natural as it should've. Nothing odd or preposterous in the writing. In fact, Mattioli worked magic, I felt, at certain points in the plot; very cleverly too. The feelings and emotions were right almost all the time; I could feel all of them, especially Silvia. And that is probably why I could enjoy the book, because I could relate so much with its characters.

And yes, Olive branches don't grow on trees, that much was m
Mar 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very well written of a dysfunctional loud New Jersey Italian family. It is written from the view point of the middle child of four kind of lost with recently seperated parents. Her mission is a high school graduation party that would include the whole family. She feels this would make her world come together. Travel with her as she tries to pull it together and see what she learns about herself along the way.
Pamela Beckford
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
And this is why I typically don't read reviews before I read a book. I really enjoyed this book and so many of the other reviews have not been good. I got wrapped up in the characters and felt like I was living the same life. There were some places it was a little slow, but I still finished it in a day - I just couldn't put it down. And then I found out this was just the first book!
Oct 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
WOW What a Book

I gave this book 5 stars because I loved the way it made me feel. It was a great book.
Marcia Silva
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it
Families are forever flaws and all!

Sad story about a dysfunctional daily trying to get through everyday life nursing their wounds from growing up in a dysfunctional atmosphere.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it liked it
Quite good...About a 24 year old girl trying to bring her totally dis-functional family together to celebrate her brother's high school graduation. Ah, the naivete of youth!!
Kay Mcaloney
Nov 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting book with some very interesting characters. I enjoyed reading about this intensely dysfunctional family. Each family member was so different from the others.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it liked it
I can relate to this story and it was well written enough but I am just not sure how I feel about it. Not a book I would recommend since it just did not have the WOW factor.
Leslie Mckay
I couldn't get into this book and gave up on it...
Tim Lockfeld
Feb 20, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A moving, funny family story filled with believable characters.
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book made me smile! I loved the name and the cover, but as I seldom read the blurb on a book once I decide to read the book, I had no idea what to expect, other than that I was reading an author new to me. The story is written from the point of view of a young woman, Silvia, who comes from a Greek family where her father, Frank, is a lawyer and judge, her mother, Donna, is a University professor, her sister Angie marries 'into money', her brother Cosmo is a free spirit and young Vince is ju ...more
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Family Drama

This is the story of a fractured family . The protagonist, daughter Silvia is depressed and depressing. Her family is ripped apart in 6 different directions mainly due to the father's alcoholism. Taking baby steps she is able to reunite the family for one dinner. I enjoyed the story. I only lowered the rating for the lack of editing the many mistakes.
Veronica Bowerman
This is a story of a really large family in the US anf the problems that each of them have. Some of it is funny but other parts are sad, particularly when the parents split after their family of six children had grown up. It is the determination of one of those grown up children that is dominant throughout the book. Many people will be able to relate to her. Well worth reading.
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Around the Year i...: Olive Branches Don't Grow on Trees, by Grace Mattioli 2 13 Apr 05, 2017 02:15PM  
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“Grandma Tucci would say, “You can’t help whom you fall in love with.” 0 likes
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