Rebecca Berto's Reviews > The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Christine Nolfi
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's review
Mar 16, 2012

really liked it
Read in January, 2011

I give 4-4.5 stars to The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Christine Nolfi, a story of contemporary--perhaps with a hint of literary--fiction. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge has so much in it to read for. Christine layers on multiple storylines, each weaving closer to each other and building to a thrilling ending.

Her novel follows two main characters who are connected by a tragedy in their past, two people trying to move forward, but ever reminded of what's happened. Ourania is contracted by Troy Fagan for a renovation of the family's mansion. Ourania's mother, Lianna, thrusts two in-need siblings under her wing for emergency foster care because Emma and Walt's surviving parent, Buck, has mistreated them. Troy is a man who's lost his brother, who's had a secret past with Ourania, and he hasn't spoken to her for years because of their past. Now they're working together and things only get stickier.

Things unravel--Ourania struggles to cope with Emma and Walt, Troy's under pressure at the mansion with construction--until Ourania and Troy unwittingly realise there's still passion between them. Ourania grows closer to the children, but issues continue to arise between her and Troy. Tension also rises from Buck's threats, Ourania's struggle to cope with her job, the children's needs, and her growing feelings for Troy.

When things come together, it's a heart-pumping race to the finish.

The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge shows the heart-breaking story of two siblings who've been mistreated and scarred. I grew to love these children and it was obvious that Christine writes with honesty. This is what makes empathising with them an inevitable journey. Ourania and Troy are two strong-willed people that have a bond beyond physical and romantic nature. I found myself rooting for their relationship, and as the story progresses it's hard to not feel invested in the outcome. Do they forgive and make up? Will they never make it over their past?

I can't describe the ending in any other way than: why didn't I see it coming!? Christine plots this novel with care, yet writes it so eloquently so when the novel ends, you feel like a goose for not realising earlier. The best thing is this novel thrills and shocks, but not without reasoning that's setup from the beginning.

I must admit, however, that there were editing issues. I thought some POVs were unnecessary because it's hard caring for a perspective told via a non-main character. There were also a couple of scenes midway through the novel that were confusing and stilted. Other small-scale sentence issues are present but they're not detrimental to the story. The ending certainly was a redemption that pushed these issues down the so-called "importance" factor.

This novel is honest in its story about love and adoption, relationships and secrets. The novel's journey twists up and down until it grabs hold of you and you'll get less and less sleep as you head toward the ending. I recommend this read to anyone who values children, honesty, care for others, and love. Oh, and for those who relish a dark past.

--A must read--
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message 1: by Christine (new)

Christine Nolfi Rebecca, many thanks for reading the pre-pub version of The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge.

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