About the Book
A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family Tree
Meri flunks out of medical school—and runs from her parents. Genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy’s digging traces the family long tradition of doctors to an ancestor saved during a yellow fever outbreak in Memphis in 1878. As Meri’s family closes in, Jillian gets the final puzzle pieces in place just in time for them all to learn the truth. The Inn at Hidden Run is the first book in the Tree of Life series. Readers will come back to backdrop of a lovely mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that inspire them to connect with their own family histories and unique faith journeys.
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I enjoyed this entertaining and informative novel. The narrative includes a contemporary story and a background one from 1878. The historical part of the novel is very informative, based on actual events during the yellow fever outbreak in Memphis.
The contemporary part of the novel is interesting, with a genealogical researcher, Jillian, as a main character. Jillian's father is a mediating lawyer at a law firm and it is interesting to see how he uses his skills in the family disagreement at the heart of the contemporary story.
One aspect of the novel I found lacking is descriptions of the characters. Newport does well describing houses and rooms but is so sparse on people I had difficulty picturing them. Meri is described as having “warm bronze skin” and I didn't know she was African-American until well into the book. And except for Jillian's frizzy hair, I can't tell you what she looks like. I do appreciate Jillian's obsession with finding just the right coffee mug with the right feel, however. I'm the same way.
Newport includes a number of issues in the plot. The most serious one is family expectations. What is a young woman to do when parents are overbearing in their demand she go into a certain profession, even though her heart is not in it?
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
More from Olivia
Of Family Lines and Family Lore
I suppose it all started in a cemetery.
Once, while a group of relatives were visiting a cemetery, one of my cousins and I wandered off and looked at all sorts of graves, speculating about the names we read and the lives they represented. We were duly scolded both for separating from our families, which caused some consternation, and for being disrespectful—though I think the second accusation was a false one!
Just because we were young children didn’t mean we were disrespecting the dead. Quite the opposite. We were respecting lives long forgotten with our curiosity about who they were and what legacies they left.
These days a lot of people are interested in genealogy. Entire TV series spin around the theme, and DNA kits show up in Christmas stockings. Lost branches of family trees find the main trunk—sometimes with big surprises.
My new Tree of Life series is set in the backdrop of a lovely Colorado mountain town I hope you’ll want to visit often, where a father-daughter genealogy team link present to past on family trees and characters learn about who they are, where they come from, and their unique faith journeys as they discover their own Tree of Life. It all starts with The Inn at Hidden Run. When Meri arrives in Canyon Mines because she wants to run away from her family, true answers come from understanding the past that generations have forgotten—the accounts from another time and place no longer handed down but that still form the backbone of the family’s story.
What’s the backbone of your family’s history? How is it shaping your own future?
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.