Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo


Olives, Olive Oil, longevity.....sounds like it could be true to me.  The Keller women had worked in the olive orchards for generations, and Anna, who was 112, claimed the longevity was because of the family's "love" of the olives....this book is filled with generations of women and family life.  What a magnificent book with a powerful, thoughtful ending.

A lot of life's lessons were taught under and in the olive trees.  Anna told her great, great grandchild, Erin, that "roots" are important whether they belonged to a tree or to a family. The olive garden was everything to Anna, and she wanted her family to know how important it actually had been. 

You will meet five generations of Keller women with the sixth on the way.  Each woman was remarkable.  Anna was the oldest at 112, Elizabeth was 90, Callie was in her sixties, Deb was in prison for murder, and Erin in her late 20's shows up pregnant at the family home of Hill House.

You will become attached to these women, specifically Anna who began it all and held it all together.  The other women take care of Anna, not that she needs any care, and they take care of each other. They are proud of their longevity and, of course, their olive orchards. The book was very well written and made me think about the power if you can call it that of olive oil....could that tiny fruit be the answer to living a long, healthy life or is it simply one's genes?  

Besides enjoying the female characters, you will enjoy Dr. Hashmi who was doing research on the Keller family to see what the secret of their longevity was.   Each woman had a wonderful story with Anna of course being the reason they all were there and the reason they were the person they had become.  Anna was my favorite....she had a great story from her childhood that was retold from generation to generation.  

You will follow each character and her place in the circle of life.  You will not be bored with their stories.  The author takes you deep into each woman's life with wonderful descriptions and flashbacks along with tears and hugs.   You will find out if their longevity really is from olive oil or from something that has been kept secret for over 100 years.  What a beautiful story....a splendid family saga that is uniquely told.


  1. I'm really looking forward to this book! It sounds divine.

  2. This sounds so good, I like how olive orchards and longevity play such a big part in the story. Great review.

  3. I have an advanced copy of this book and cannot wait to read it, It sounds fantastic. So glad to hear that you liked it.

  4. You will love it, Bonnie.

    Tried to get onto your page, but it says not accessible.

  5. Nice review. Would you like to link this in to Books You Loved: August edition on Carole's Chatter?

    Have a good week.

  6. Carole - absolutely please do a link on your blog for me.

    Can't find your e-mail or I would write there.



  7. Elizabeth, I have done it for you. Cheers

    For next time, all you do is go to the Books You Loved post, put your name and title in the first Mr Linky box and copy and paste the url for your review (thats the long title stuff shown up the top of your browser window) into the second box and you are done. And if you get it wrong I will be able to fix it for you. Cheers

  8. This sounds like such a gorgeous book, it's on my mental tbr list! Thanks for the wonderful review :)

    The Relentless Reader