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Olive Branches Don't Grow on Trees - a Review
Olive Branches Don't Grow on Trees is the first novel written by Grace Mattioli. Silvia, the main character of this book, just can't seem to stay in one place very long. She moves from one city to another in hopes of finding happiness. Is there a reason she is like this?
Her family is Italian, and none of them seem to get along with each other. They have not all been together for six years. But now her brother, Vince, is preparing to graduate from college, and their mother, Donna, has decided that they all need to have a party for him. And everyone should be at this party. She enlists Silvia's help in convincing everyone in the immediate family to be there.
Frank is her father. During the day, he is a judge at a local courthouse, but at night he drinks, and he loves to fight with his kids. His cantankerous personality is what they have all become used to.
Donna is Silvia's mother. She left Frank years ago and is the one who came up with this idea that they all need to get together to celebrate Vince's graduation from college. But Donna changes her mind and backs out on Silvia. Donna no longer thinks it is such a good idea, but Silvia is determined to accomplish what she set out to do and has been working so hard on. Silvia has made it her mission to get every one of them to come to Vince's graduation dinner, but she is looking at it as more of a chance to reunite their family.
The members of this family do not get along with each other. Frank's favorite daughter, Angie, brought someone into the family he doesn't like. Angie married Doug, a successful rich guy, then she moved from south Jersey to north Jersey. As far as Frank is concerned, she might as well have moved to another planet.
Then there is Cosmo. He is brilliant, but only does what he has to do in order to make a living. He has a job, and he is happy with it. Cosmo and Angie have their differences, and he doesn't like her husband either.
Vince is the one graduating from college. He doesn't really want a graduation party, but still Silvia is determined to get each member of her disharmonious family together for him.
I did enjoy this book, although it got a bit slow for me in parts. I will say that this is not my favorite type of book to read. I usually prefer more fast-paced thrillers and horror novels. But I would not have missed reading it.
The author did a great job of showing what Silvia was experiencing as she tried to reunite the members of her hot-headed Italian family. Some of these experiences were humorous, some were sad, and some of them were a bit maddening. Silvia learns a lot about herself as she sets out to reunite everyone.
Does she succeed? If you want to know that, you will have to read the book. If there are members of your family that just aren't friendly with each other for various reasons, you may be able to understand these characters and what each one of them is experiencing. Yes, there have been some pretty major upheavals in my family, and the author did a great job of describing how erratic the behavior can be.
I downloaded this book on my Kindle for free from Amazon. If you would like a copy of this book for your own reading pleasure, I have provided an Amazon link for you below.
Content copyright © 2013 by Lisa Binion. All rights reserved.
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