The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo
Some family’s roots are deeper than others. In Courtney Miller Santo’s debut novel The Roots of the Olive Tree, the Keller family’s roots are so deep, Anna, the matriach, is nearly the oldest person in the world at 113 years old.
This multi-generational novel tells the story of the Keller women, including Anna’s story and also the stories of her daughter, Bets who’s 90 years old; and Bets’ daughter Callie, who’s in her 60s; Callie’s daughter Deb, who’s in her 40s; and Erin, who’s in her 20s
Each of the Keller women has secrets they’ve kept from one another. Erin returns home from Italy pregnant. Deb, who killed Erin’s father, is up for parole, and wonders how she will fit with the family she’s been gone from for so long. Callie is struggling to keep her business a float and life has thrown her a curve ball with a new man in her life. Bets and Anna are both struggling with the past and the secrets of their family.
If those secrets weren’t enough, Dr. Hashmi, a geneticist, wants to know the key to the Keller family longevity. Will this quest to understand their genes expose the family secrets?
This book is a well-crafted novel that allows the story to progress through each woman’s point of view. I have a feeling this will not be the last we see of Santo and recommend adding her to your shelves now.
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