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The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge

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  • Posted November 9, 2012

    I give 4-4.5 stars to The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Chris

    I give 4-4.5 stars to The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Christine Nolfi, a story of contemporary--perhaps with a hint of literary--fiction. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge has so much in it to read for. Christine layers on multiple storylines, each weaving closer to each other and building to a thrilling ending.

    Her novel follows two main characters who are connected by a tragedy in their past, two people trying to move forward, but ever reminded of what's happened. Ourania is contracted by Troy Fagan for a renovation of the family's mansion. Ourania's mother, Lianna, thrusts two in-need siblings under her wing for emergency foster care because Emma and Walt's surviving parent, Buck, has mistreated them. Troy is a man who's lost his brother, who's had a secret past with Ourania, and he hasn't spoken to her for years because of their past. Now they're working together and things only get stickier.

    Things unravel--Ourania struggles to cope with Emma and Walt, Troy's under pressure at the mansion with construction--until Ourania and Troy unwittingly realise there's still passion between them. Ourania grows closer to the children, but issues continue to arise between her and Troy. Tension also rises from Buck's threats, Ourania's struggle to cope with her job, the children's needs, and her growing feelings for Troy.

    When things come together, it's a heart-pumping race to the finish.

    The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge shows the heart-breaking story of two siblings who've been mistreated and scarred. I grew to love these children and it was obvious that Christine writes with honesty. This is what makes empathising with them an inevitable journey. Ourania and Troy are two strong-willed people that have a bond beyond physical and romantic nature. I found myself rooting for their relationship, and as the story progresses it's hard to not feel invested in the outcome. Do they forgive and make up? Will they never make it over their past?

    I can't describe the ending in any other way than: why didn't I see it coming!? Christine plots this novel with care, yet writes it so eloquently so when the novel ends, you feel like a goose for not realising earlier. The best thing is this novel thrills and shocks, but not without reasoning that's setup from the beginning.

    I must admit, however, that there were editing issues. I thought some POVs were unnecessary because it's hard caring for a perspective told via a non-main character. There were also a couple of scenes midway through the novel that were confusing and stilted. Other small-scale sentence issues are present but they're not detrimental to the story. The ending certainly was a redemption that pushed these issues down the so-called "importance" factor.

    This novel is honest in its story about love and adoption, relationships and secrets. The novel's journey twists up and down until it grabs hold of you and you'll get less and less sleep as you head toward the ending. I recommend this read to anyone who values children, honesty, care for others, and love. Oh, and for those who relish a dark past.

    --A must read--

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It had the prefect blend of love and

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It had the prefect blend of love and danger.

    The characters were well developed. They were flawed and realistic. I found that I really liked them because of that. I enjoyed the way they interacted and the way their relationships evolved.

    I really liked the story itself. I liked the flow and the timing of key revelations. I really didn't want to put it down and was anxious to pick it back up again when I had to. The ending was very satisfying.

    Kudos to you, Christine, on a well-crafted book. I look forward to reading more from you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    Christine Nolfi was the very first author to ever request a revi

    Christine Nolfi was the very first author to ever request a review from
    me when I started this blog; after I read and loved her debut, Treasure
    Me, I immediately agreed to read and review her second novel, The Tree
    of Everlasting Knowledge, when she approached me about it. Although a
    good year passed in between when I read her first novel, and when I
    eagerly read this one, the effect was the same once I started Tree: I
    immediately fell all over again for Christine's writing and her way of
    creating characters that feel at once familiar, like old friends.
    Main characters Ourania and Troy crackled with their own individual
    personalities, as well as their barely contained sexual tension. It was
    at once clear that there was something unresolved between these two, and
    as I read more, and began to like and care for both of these tormented
    characters, their pasts became clearer, and my heart went out to each of
    them. Throughout Tree, we're given glimpses through a dual POV into
    both Troy and Ourania's thoughts and motivations, and we see both sides
    of their tangled story. Still dealing - poorly - with their shared loss
    of a loved one, both Troy and Ourania have taken equally dangerous paths
    in their life, which has led them both to become deeply unhappy. I
    wanted to alternately hug and shake each of them for being so dense at
    times, yet so intuitive at others. Nolfi effortlessly built layer
    after layer upon the foundation she laid early on in Tree; with her easy
    to follow, easy to love writing style, she weaves several character's
    stories into one another, yet does so in a way that never feels too
    tangled. The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge is many things: a romance, a
    mystery, a social commentary on the foster system and how it works and
    does not work at times, a mystery, and a moral lesson. What I loved
    best were the relationships: Ourania and Troy, Troy and his parents,
    Ourania and her foster children, sweet Walt and broken Emma, Ourania and
    Troy's sister. All of the characters, even the minor ones, were
    definitely well developed and stood out strongly in my mind, even after
    finishing Tree! Christine Nolfi kept me guessing at various plot
    twists, which I applaud. Tree had so much going on, but not in a
    cluttered way - it was definitely a well-rounded mystery, thriller, and
    romance all at once. As the pages grew numbered, my heartbeat
    increased, and I found myself genuinely scared for the characters, as
    past secrets came to life to threaten them in present day. And at
    Tree's end, although everything was wrapped up a bit too neatly for my
    taste (my only real complaint), this novel is still emotionally
    satisfying in many ways!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I enjoyed The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, even though there w

    I enjoyed The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge, even though there were some slow parts. There were a couple of sections of the book I skimmed because I wanted to catch up to the action. I really like Ourania as a character and her demeanor. She came across to me as one that doesn’t mence words. She’s a head strong business woman that knows what she wants. Troy was annoying to me at times. I wanted him to just say outright what he wanted instead of beating around the bush. My heart was tugged by the children Emma and Walt that was placed into the care of Ourania. I have strong convictions against child abuse and would have liked to seen more done to Buck, the abuser, than his final demise. The Fagan’s and all their money couldn’t hide the family secrets that came to light throughout the book. Very interesting plot line with some unexpected revelations.

    I did enjoy the book; even though I had my suspicions on where the ending was going. Although, I had kind of figured that was going to be the final outcome I was glad it ended how it did. This book in some ways reminded me of the VC Andrews series.

    I give the book only 4 stars instead of 5 because although I did really like it; the slow spots and my prediction of the end took away one star.

    I was given a copy of this book by the author for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review. Reviewed by Reyna Hawk author of Looking Through Blind Eyes and Reflection of Secrets

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book!

    The Tree of Everlasting knowledge is a compelling story about love, loss, and forgiveness. Ourania D'Andre is an electrician hired by the town's wealthiest family, the Fagans. Ourania has a history with two of the family members, but it's not pleasant. She's desperate to prove herself to the Fagans and to the other trades. Troy Fagan doesn't want her on the job from the beginning. He's not sure if Ourania is up to the large, labor intense job. He is determined not to let his history with Ourania get in the way. Troy and Ourania both have secrets that could potentially harm each other. Ourania has a wrench thrown into her life when she is asked to take in two foster children, Walt and Emma. Walt and Emma have not had an easy life. They were taken from an abusive home. With the help of her family, Ourania does her best to give the children a sanctuary. Walt and Emma's father is always a daunting presence in their lives, and it follows them into their new sanctuary.
    The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge is an emotional journey to say the least. Walt and Emma's story-line broke my heart. The thought of anyone hurting a child in any way really makes me angry. Ourania signed up to be a foster parent because her mother works for social services. Ourania is not really prepared to take on this role with Walt and Emma, but she does. The story line with Ourania, Walt, and Emma is really good. The characters are well developed, and their story line has a realistic feel to it.
    Ourania and Troy have an interesting love/hate relationship. The tension and chemistry between these two characters heats up the pages. They have a troubled past in which they both feel responsible. While working, Ourania finds something that could open a giant can of worms and possibly change everything for Troy.
    This book is a great read. It has moments that made me cringe, moments that made me tear up, and moments that warmed my heart. This book is an emotional roller coaster ride. This book contains scenes that might be hard for some people to read, such as rape, violence, and child abuse. Nolfi handles them with care, although some scenes are a little graphic. The author shows that some good can come out of something so terrible.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 14, 2013

    Omg what an absolutely fantastic book. This is my third book by

    Omg what an absolutely fantastic book. This is my third book by Christine. As much as I loved all 3 this is my favourite. 
    There is so much more to this book than what the description said.Twice while reading this book I found myself putting down my kindle & thinking I can't read anymore. I was so involved with the characters I was afraid of what was going to happen next. After the second time I put my kindle down I txt my reading buddy Sue & told her what this book was doing to me. I've got a feeling she will be reading this soon.
    Reading is my passion. I'm on lots of Facebook pages where they recommend books that put you through so many emotions. None I've read lately have done that to me until I read this book. Read it. You won't be disappointed. 
    I am so proud & privileged that this fantastic author allowed me to read this book in return for an honest review.
    I've only one more book left to read of hers so I hope she is busy writing another fantastic read.

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