Author: Christine Nolfi
Publish Date: March 9, 2012
Source: I received a copy from the author. This did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a literary fiction fan.
- You love stories with multiple storylines.
- You like family stories.
From Goodreads.com: "A savage rape on hallowed ground. Secrets buried for decades by the town’s most influential family.
Now Ourania D’Andre will learn the Great Oak’s secrets as construction begins at the Fagan mansion. She can’t afford to turn down a job that promises to stir up the long-buried guilt—and the passion—she shares with powerful Troy Fagan.
She’s already juggling the most important job of her career with her new responsibilities as a foster mother for young Walt and Emma Korchek. And there’s a hard, older man on the construction crew with eyes void of emotion—cold and killing. The secrets of his brutal past will pose a grave threat to the children in her care. Will she find the courage to face him?"
My Two Cents:
I really, really liked this book. It's the sort of book where you get so entranced in the various storylines that you don't realize how much time has gone by as you're reading the book. At first we're following the storyline of Ourania, an electrician who likes being on her own with no ties. Suddenly she becomes the guardian of two foster children. At almost the same time, she's thrust into confronting some painful subjects from the past and comes into contact with some information that could change the lives of those that's she's close to and those that she's not so close to. There's a lot going on in this story but the storylines are so well woven together that the book as a whole works really well.
The characters are really great. I really liked Ourania, the main character in The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge. She's tough but as we see in the book, she does have a soft and loving side; especially when it comes to Walt and Emma, the foster children that she takes in at the request of her mother, the head of the town's child protective services organization. She's a really unique character but I did find myself confused about some of her motives. I don't want to give anything away about this book (the twists and turns should stay a surprise) but when Ourania becomes the owner of some information about Troy, her boss on the job to renovate his family's grand home, she doesn't seem to hesitate too long to tell Troy. In this specific case, I'm not sure that it was Ourania's business to tell Troy, especially when her relationship with Troy is so rocky. At first it seems like Ourania is almost being mean to Troy in a way just because their relationship is so bad. Everything turns out okay but it just seemed strange that she jumped right in to sharing such startling news. I do wish that there had been more of an explanation.
The writing definitely helps to carry the story. Between the writing and a fantastic storyline with a good dose of twists and turns and you have a great book!