The Roots of the Olive Tree

The Roots of the Olive Tree

Book - 2012
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"Meet the Keller family, five generations of firstborn women-an unbroken line of daughters-living together in the same house on a secluded olive grove in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California. Anna, the family matriarch, is 112 and determined to become the oldest person in the world. An indomitable force, strong in mind and firm in body, she rules Hill House, the family home she shares with her daughter Bets, granddaughter Callie, great-granddaughter Deb, and great-great-granddaughter Erin. Though they lead ordinary lives, there is an element of the extraordinary to these women: the eldest two are defying longevity norms. Their unusual lifespans have caught the attention of a geneticist who believes they hold the key to breakthroughs that will revolutionize the aging process for everyone. But Anna is not interested in unlocking secrets the Keller blood holds. She believes there are some truths that must stay hidden, including certain knowledge about her origins that she has carried for more than a century. Like Anna, each of the Keller women conceals her true self from the others. While they are bound by blood and the house they share, living together has not always been easy."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : William Morrow, c2012
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 308 p. ; 24 cm
ISBN: 9780062130518
Branch Call Number: Sant


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Dec 16, 2013

This is a tedious book. The women in the family are not interesting except for their ages. Their lives are mind-numbingly dull. They don't go anywhere or do anything except wander around the olive groves both physically and emotionally. They don't get along with each other yet insist on living under the same roof except for one who's in prison. Their lives are tiresome, and the "secrets" the book jacket keeps promising are banal. "That's all?" I kept asking. The first secret is so utterly unlikely that I kept thinking there must be something more to it; this couldn't possibly be meant as the entire premise for the book. The second secret is of the who-cares variety, because the only people to whom it would matter are ancient men who live far away and never appear in the book except to be referred to collectively as "the boys".
This book was a big bore. Don't bother to read it.

ChristchurchLib Aug 20, 2013

"Five generations of first-born women in the Keller family live together among Northern California's olive groves. Matriarch Anna is 112 and wants to be the oldest person in the world; she's attracted the attention of a geneticist who wonders if the Keller genes contain the secret to slowing down the aging process. What he discovers in their DNA churns up old secrets, while the return of the now-pregnant youngest daughter, followed by her mother (recently released from prison after killing her husband many years previously), stir up more drama. With stunning descriptions of the olive orchards and plenty in the way of family relationships, this leisurely paced novel offers the perspective of each of the characters in turn." August 2013 Fiction A to Z newsletter

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