About the Book
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Split-Time Contemporary/Historical
Release date: Fall, 2021
Cate Butler is the distant cousin genealogist Jillian was so certain she wanted to find—and the only connection she has to her deceased mother’s Parisi family tree. So why does she wish Cate would stop pestering her? And why can’t Jillian find a paper trail proving Cate is who she says she is?
Cate wants something for her own career that Jillian can’t give, but she also holds the key to family history Jillian can’t bring herself to walk away from. Nolan, Jillian’s father, steps in when Cate’s chronic career chaos requires legal rescue. Drew, the man who holds Jillian’s heart, has a surprising past with Cate. The truths Jillian, Cate, and Drew find while untangling these knotted threads tie them back together in remarkable ways none of them ever would have imagined.
Now That I Know You is Book 5 in the Tree of Life series, exploring and celebrating unforgettable family stories in Canyon Mines, the mountain town that invites you back again and again.
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I do like Newport's writing style. There is just something about how she tells a story that I like. Much of the narrative consists of day to day activities with a little excitement thrown in here and there. There are no life and death situations. Nevertheless, the novel is a pleasant account of learning about distant cousins and the discovery of their participation in major historical events.
The narrative is mostly contemporary with Jillian finding out about Italian relatives on her mother's side. Interspersed in the contemporary narrative are accounts of Jillian's ancestors and their experiences with the Ludlow Massacre. The Colorado Coal Field Strike of 1914 was an example of miners trying to obtain better working conditions. The Colorado National Guard and the mining company guards killed many.
Newport has included some relationship issues in the novel as well. One deals with family expectations and the tension that results when one may not want to follow in the family business. Another issue is a kind of corporate espionage. And then there is the most delightful relationship issue, that between Jillian and Drew.
This is a good novel for readers who like a good one about relationships with some good information about a deadly time in Colorado's history.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
I have read all of the novels in the Tree of Life series and you can read my reviews of them in the order they were released: The Inn at Hidden Run, In The Cradle Lies, When I Meet You, and What You Said to Me.
About the Author
She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak. Visit www.olivianewport.com.
More from Olivia
I’ve wanted to write Now That I Know You for nearly 20 years—at least the historical story part of this split-time novel.
When my son was a freshman in high school, he joined the mock trial team, and my husband and I entered the league of parents who watched versions of the same competition over and over. The state bar association selects a case and provides every team with the same documents to study as the basis of preparing both prosecution and defense. Team members play roles of attorneys and witnesses.
That first year, the case was trying a particular individual in connection with his role in events that culminated in the 1914 “Ludlow Massacre,” which is featured in Now That I Know You. My son played a witness for the prosecution. My proudest moment was when one of the scoring judges—who are actual court judges—singled him out for his skill in recognizing and dodging the opposing counsel’s interrogation strategy. Somebody hold me in my chair, because you really are not supposed to jump and cheer at mock trial!
Since I heard the case several times, the history wormed its way into my heart and mind. The injustice and tragedy of the story weighed heavy, but so did the legacy of the events and their eventual impact on history that affects us even today. People often ask where book ideas come from. Sometimes they germinate inside me for a long time before the moment is ripe to put them on the page in the lives of characters who have grown around them. This is one of those stories.
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(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)