‘In the olive grove you’ve got to be wise in the feet and wild in the head.’ At the heart of the beautiful debut novel “The Roots of the Olive Tree” are five generations of firstborn Keller women who live in the same house on an olive grove in secluded northern California. Matriarch Anna is 112 and trying to be the oldest woman in the world – and succeeding heartily. Her daughter Bets, granddaughter Callie, great-granddaughter Deb, and great-great granddaughter Erin are also defying the limits imposed on our lives.
When a geneticist comes to study these marvel of longevity, Erin announces she is pregnant with a firstborn boy and the Keller women’s world is blown wide open. The family’s lives, tied so closely with the land and the olive trees, are richly evoked with memories echoing across generations. Told in turn through the perspective of each of the women, the mystery of their existence is revealed in rich, compassionate writing that will remain a treasure across the generations.