A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family Trees Meri’s family has been producing doctors for so many generations that no one remembers why, so when she flunks out of medical school, she runs as far from her parents as she can get. In the small mountain town of Canyon Mines, Colorado, she takes a job at the Inn at Hidden Run B&B. And waits. It’s only a matter of time. What she doesn’t count on is genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her father, Nolan, having her back when it takes everything she has not to bolt again but to stay and face the truth that only unfolding her family’s history will reveal. While Nolan works on keeping Meri calm—and in town—Jillian pulls out of her gems of information she doesn’t know she has and arranges the puzzle pieces. But none of that changes the fact that Meri’s family is closing in to haul her back to her “real” life. When their arrival inflames tensions and Meri finally does bolt, Nolan and Jillian may be out of time. 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.
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 Pikes Peak.
Read an Excerpt
Sad, but true. She would have to procure a new favorite coffee mug. Moving the old one from hand to hand and turning it 180 degrees only confirmed the body of data growing over the last two weeks. The crack down the wide blue stripe would imminently progress to a leak. The wobbly handle was untrustworthy with the weight of the next refill. And the promises of extraordinary adhesive products were not the solution to a receptacle of hot liquids on the way into her throat.
"You're not listening. Jillian Parisi-Duffy, sometimes I wish I could send you to your room like the old days."
"That was twenty years ago." Jillian snatched a tissue from a box on the gray-speckled granite kitchen counter and wiped the bead of brown liquid seeping through the midpoint of one side of the mug and moved to the sink to surrender to reality. The vessel had given her a good run, but it was over. She had thought she could at least finish this cup of coffee. "Besides, I never stayed in my room. You know that. I crept out to the landing and listened to you use the telephone to call your boyfriends."
Nia Dunston, seven years older than Jillian and her former babysitter, swatted her shoulder with the backs of her fingers.
"As if I didn't know that," Nia said. "Sometimes there wasn't even a boy on the other end of the line. It was all show."
"Let's see, there was Ricky and John — and Mario. Then you were over the moon for Jean-Luc."
"In my own defense, I was fifteen, and he was a tall, dark, French foreign exchange student who could already grow a beard," Nia said. "But never mind that. I came to take you for some real coffee."
Jillian pointed to the elaborate café barista-quality espresso and cappuccino system gleaming across the kitchen. Beside it was a single-serve machine with a built-in frother.
"I work at home and look after myself," she said. "I hardly lack for real coffee."
"Real coffee is the kind you have out in the real world with real people," Nia said. "If I didn't show up every now and then to drag you out of this house, you'd never leave."
This was not strictly true. Jillian couldn't rely on her father to buy groceries at appropriate intervals, and she had a weakness for double-dipped, hard-shell chocolate chip cookie dough cones at Ore the Mountain Ice Cream on Main Street. But Nia's assessment was largely true, so Jillian didn't offer a counterargument.
"What's this?" Nia tugged a blue folder from the bottom of a stack of work Jillian had left on the breakfast bar and opened it. She slid out a sheet of paper. "Does your dad know you're taking work from another law firm?"
Jillian lurched across the counter and snatched the folder from Nia. "First, not your business. Second, I have a system, and you're mucking it up."
"Whoa. You seriously need some exposure to the real world."
"Fine. If it will stop you from being so nosy. Let me get my stuff." Jillian picked up the whole stack of folders. She hated carrying a purse, but she wouldn't leave the house without her iPhone. The case held her driver's license, a credit card, and a debit card.
"Run a comb through your hair," Nia said.
"Are you serious?"
"Look in the mirror, girlfriend."
Jillian rolled her eyes but shuffled into the first-floor powder room squeezed between the kitchen and her office in the old Victorian home. Surrounding the green eyes that matched her Irish father's was the mass of black hair that was her Italian mother's legacy, and truth be told, most days Jillian did little to manage it. If she had a video call scheduled with a client, she made sure to tame it and put on a business-appropriate top. Otherwise, she was a wholehearted proponent of working in comfort. Her long-sleeved red T-shirt showed no evidence of breakfast droppings, and her favorite lightweight hooded blue sweater had been through the wash just two days ago, so she deemed herself presentable for an October Thursday. For now, she found a hair band in the cabinet over the sink, gathered her hair at the base of her neck, grabbed her phone and keys off her desk, and returned to the kitchen.
"So you hired her," Jillian said. "That's what you said when you accused me of not listening."
"Well, there you go." Nia's wide-set gray eyes lifted in surprise, and she swung her long brown braid over her shoulder. "I did in fact hire her."
"Even though you know nothing about her."
"I know I need help at the Inn and she needs a job."
"I suppose there's something algebraic about the way that equation settles out." They left through the door on the side of the house that served as its main entrance, and Jillian pulled it shut. Once the home had been a double cottage, two residences sharing a center wall with mirroring floor plans. The other side of the house, just outside Jillian's office, had a similar though less ornate entrance and porch where she sometimes worked while enjoying fresh air and mountain views. A previous owner had opened up the center of the house, making it spacious for one family. Jillian's parents fell in love with the place when she was a toddler, and her mother turned it into a nest of love. For the last fourteen years, only Jillian and her father lived in the nest. She made sure the door locked, just as her mother always had, tugging it toward her twice for good measure.
Anyone who thinks you ever "get over" losing someone you love, or who loves you, from this world — even into the arms of Jesus — is deluded. Jillian had decided that when she was fourteen, and so far nothing had changed her mind.
She glanced over her shoulder at the mountains. Situated nearly at the end of Main Street, before it angled to join the old highway headed west, the house had nearly unimpeded views of the canyon that spoiled her for living anywhere else. The home's gray-blue color, with white trim and rusty red accents, had been her mother's choice, and when it needed repainting a couple of years ago Jillian and her dad didn't even discuss altering the color scheme. They'd never erase this mark of her presence.
Jillian and Nia walked toward downtown Canyon Mines, a community that stretched along the roadway that in its rough form had carried nineteenth-century gold and silver prospectors to the region and now in its modern highway iteration brought tourists, many on their way into the Rockies for skiing, mountain-climbing, hiking, camping, or family day outings.
"You're very analytical, you know that?" Nia set a vigorous clip for someone so short.
Jillian matched Nia's progress with fewer strides of her longer legs and laughed. "I've been told. But I make a decent living because of it."
"You know how much I depended on Carlotta. I hated to lose her, but she had to go look after her mother and she's not coming back."
"She called four days ago. The move is permanent."
"I'm sorry to hear that. I didn't get to say goodbye. I'd like to have an address where I can send a note."
"I'll give it to you."
They took a few steps in silence.
"I can't manage on my own," Nia said. "I've tried, with Carlotta gone. I just can't find the rhythms. Leo helps, but when he has a big job of his own, it's hard to juggle everything. I'm exhausted every day."
"The Inn is at capacity every weekend and often during the week," Jillian said. "Obviously you should hire help."
"I haven't even had time to place an ad or ask around town for someone. This young woman shows up inquiring and promising she'll work hard. Providential, don't you think?" Jillian eyed her friend. "Maybe. What exactly did she tell you about herself?"
"Her name is Meri. M-e-r-i."
"Sounds like it's short for something."
"You didn't ask?"
"You're the genealogist, not me. Meri Davies. She's a graduate of University of the South."
"Is that what they call it?"
"Because it's in Sewanee, Tennessee," Jillian said. "Impressive school."
"She double-majored in biology and chemistry. I did ask that."
Nia laughed. "You're wondering why she wants a job doing laundry and cleaning up in a bed-and-breakfast with a degree like that from any school. I'm not a complete dolt."
"The question is kind of hanging out there." Jillian's mind drifted to the menu of Ore the Mountain, but she knew Nia's mind was set on coffee and not what she considered the poor substitute served at the ice cream parlor. It was a poor substitute. Nothing to dispute there. She yanked her attention back to Nia.
"I don't know the answer to that question," Nia said. "I realize she won't be at my right hand for six years, like Carlotta was. But I need help, and she needs a job, and it is fairly simple work. So why not?"
"I suppose. When does she start?"
"I left her at the desk when I went to grab you."
"Throwing her in the deep end?"
"Twenty minutes at a time." Nia nodded her head down Double Jack Street. "We'll take a slight detour, check on things, and you can meet her before we hit the coffee shop."
The Inn at Hidden Run Bed-and-Breakfast was the only structure on its block, the second one off Main Street. Another Victorian — most of the structures close to the center of town proudly displayed evidence of the mining era in which the town sprang up — this one was larger and sprawling and painted in natural shades of sand and stone with spots of bright yellow. When Nia and Leo bought it, critics questioned their judgment. But the renovations were splendid, with a veranda encasing the front and two sides of the house, a fascinating web of rooms inside, a partially covered brick patio out back, and a woodworking shop in what had once been a carriage house at the rear of the property where Leo gladly gave demonstrations of his woodworking craft.
They climbed the steps to the shaded veranda, and Jillian quelled a moment of habitual envy, even though she had two perfectly enchanting porches on her own home, and entered through the front door. This was Jillian's favorite way in, the breathtaking view guests saw when they came into the capacious hall at the base of the sweeping oak stairs, with the library that truly was a library to one side with floor-to-ceiling books and a rolling ladder. Across the hall was the parlor with an authentic period piece serving as a reception desk. Behind it sat a young woman with warm bronze skin, blue-tinted black short hair, and studious black-framed glasses on a thin face.
She sprang up.
What a ball of nerves. Jillian hung back.
"Is everything all right?" Nia asked.
Meri nodded. "No one came in." Relief heaved off her words.
"You're doing fine," Nia said. "Remember, Leo is out back."
Meri nodded again.
"I wanted to introduce you to my friend, Jillian. This is Meri."
Jillian stepped forward and offered a hand. "Nice to meet you."
Was that a tremble in Meri's handshake?
"Jillian and I are going for a quick cup of coffee," Nia said. "We'll be at Canary Cage Coffee, up on Main Street just around the corner. You probably drove past it coming into town. Remember that. It's a great draw for our inn — just off Main Street and walking distance to many interesting shops."
Meri nodded yet again, this time scribbling notes on a small pad.
"As I mentioned before," Nia continued, "we're fully booked for the next two weeks, so if anyone calls about availability in the short term, the answer is easy. After that, you check the red leather book. I still keep it the old-fashioned way for ambience. I don't like to have a computer out here in the parlor. Even a laptop detracts from the atmosphere guests are paying good money to enjoy in the common rooms, though of course I do the real work in the office. Just open the book and look. The rates are right inside the front cover, if anyone asks about that. If you need Leo, you can push this button on the phone to put a call on hold and use the walkie-talkie to get Leo in the shop. I'll be back soon enough."
Meri pressed her lips together and nodded repeatedly, writing all the while, but to Jillian she looked terrified.
Back on Main Street, Jillian said, "You don't think this is all a bit much for her first half hour on the job?"
"She graduated from Sewanee with a double major. I didn't even ask her to move a load of laundry. Besides, these days most people try booking through our website first. We don't even get that many calls, and no new guests will be checking in for at least two hours."
"You thought this through."
"I'm telling you, I need a break. She practically begged me for the job even though she admitted she has no experience in the industry."
"The industry? She said that?"
"She did. If she wants the job, this is the job. Give me another half hour, and I'll be ready to give her a real orientation. And of course I'd like to figure out how we can help her."
Help her? Jillian cranked her head for a full-on look at her friend.
Nia raised her eyebrows. "You know there's something there."
"Maybe," Jillian said. "What makes you so sure?"
"A person doesn't spend four years as a counselor for at-risk inner-city middle school students without developing an intuition about these things."
"When are you going to take that part-time job with the Canyon Mines School District? They've been after you ever since you came back."
"Jillian. Stay on topic. Helping Meri."
"Nia, I'm a genealogist, as you pointed out."
"So we might need your dad."
"Wrangling a story out of someone definitely is more his style."
They reached Canary Cage Coffee, her father's favorite spot in Canyon Mines. He could buy anyone a hot beverage and work his magic.
Jillian had her nose within twelve inches of the baked goods case, weighing her options, when an elbow jostled her from behind, forcing her to shift her weight to one foot. She didn't have to turn around.
"Hello, Kristina. You'd better have a waffle cone in your hand."
"Ha. You wish. I just want ten minutes to think about something besides waffle cones and sprinkles and how many customers are going to scowl today when I say yet again that we are out of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream."
Now Jillian turned around. "You're out of chocolate chip cookie dough?"
"Don't you start," Kris said. "Just for that, you're buying my coffee. I'm going to go grab my couch."
Kris pivoted away from the counter. Jillian didn't mind. She knew what to order.
"Kris Bryant," Nia said, "and now Veronica O'Reilly."
Veronica and her husband, Luke, ran the Victorium Emporium, done up with just enough Victorian charisma to make tourists park their cars, get out, wander through, and then wonder what else might be worth exploring on Main Street. Most of the smaller shops nearby owed their foot traffic to the presence of the Emporium.
"Hail, hail, the gang's all here," Jillian said. "Meet her at the door. I'll get this round and assorted croissants and meet everyone on the couch."
By the time Jillian arrived with espressos, lattes, and enough pastries to allow for extras to take home, the other women were laughing. They all ran businesses and dealt with people face-to-face day in and day out. She had her own business as well, but she was a researcher who prowled depths of the internet most people had no idea existed. Her clients included insurance companies, law firms — her father's, primarily — and individuals who wanted to track missing heirs, sort out unidentified family members, or simply leaf out a family tree as far back as possible. Contacts came from across the country. On her desk were a dozen active cases at various stages of investigation. She had gone from attending genealogy conferences as a participant to presenting at them a couple of times a year, but for many cases she might never meet a client in person, much less have to spend the day disappointing dozens of customers with the lack of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream.
"These are from Ben Zabel's bakery, you know," Nia said, before biting into a cheese croissant.
Jillian snapped into the present conversation. Everyone knew where the baked goods came from. Ben worked himself to the bone supplying not only his own shop but Canary Cage Coffee, Burgers 'n' More, the Inn, and any other place in town he could think of to keep down the competition by selling them a better baked goods product than they could make themselves and guaranteeing that it would have more tourist-appealing homespun authenticity than anything they could ship in from Denver.
"I hear you have a new Carlotta at the Inn," Veronica said.
Nia coughed brown liquid into her napkin. "That's impossible."
"Then it's true."
"I cannot possibly have a 'new Carlotta,' but yes, I did hire someone this morning. Barely thirty minutes ago. How can you possibly have heard?"
Veronica winked. "I sent Luke over to pick up the latest batch of wooden toy cars Leo had ready. We can't keep those things in the store."
"Well, there you have it."
"Luke stopped in to say hello. He says she's nervous."
"Your husband is enough to make anybody nervous." Nia wadded up her napkin and stuffed it into her empty coffee cup. "I'll thank you all not to scare off my help with your effusion of small-town quirky charm. Come on, Jillian. We'd better get back to Meri."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "The Inn at Hidden Run"
Copyright © 2019 Olivia Newport.
Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a wonderful read on so many levels! The father/daughter team of lawyer Nolan and genealogist Jillian are precisely what runaway Meri needs, even if none of them realize it, at first. Anyone who has even a passing interest in genealogy, its dead-ends and disappointments, its romance, and its practical uses will be intrigued at the part it plays in this unusual story. Nolan's experience and working responsibilities are in family law and mediation -- his ability to cook while singing Irish-accented Italian opera are just a bonus. And the plight of Meri, who does not want to shoulder the expectations of her family, is carefully and sympathetically examined. From the time just following the abolition of slavery, Meri's family have been doctors and have held staunchly to this tradition as well as having two unusual names in each generation. Brooking her family's displeasure is a raw and serious issue for Meri, and the book takes more than a passing glance at traditions which sometimes undermine liberty and possibly the will of God. This book has many themes: God's calling on a life and His scheduling of divine appointments, relying on family, but also dealing with bullies in the family, racial harmony and understaing, faith in the face of chaos, and humor are among these themes. The book also spends nearly half its time in the past during the 1878 plague of yellow fever in Memphis, the threads of which are inextricably woven into the present-day story. This is not a quick reading "beach book," so the reader should be prepared to focus and to feel along with the book's characters. The effort will pay off in spades. Five well-deserved stars from me.
The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport is a genealogical mystery, time split fiction of modern day and 1878 America. I found some parts of the story difficult to understand and like. I could not understand having just met someone that you would conspire to fix her life, whether she likes it or not. The characters in the modern period seem to want to interfere and push another character into what they think is right for her. Poor girl bombarded from all directions by very controlling and questionably well meaning friends and family. The historical period was an interesting story of an American plague and the fight to help the people affected. The history, people, medical and logistical aspects of the period were very enlightening. The genealogy aspects were informative with many helpful facts. I felt the Christian and Scriptural influence was minimal. There was a positive message of helping others which is universal in many faiths but not exclusively Christian. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I appreciate the opportunity and thank the author and publisher for allowing me to read, enjoy and review this book.
“Always happy to share my wisdom that the work will always be there later, but the moment is only here now.” The first of a new series, skillfully written as always by Olivia Newport, expertly blending the present with past events. In smooth transitions, Mari fled her family and stops at the Inn in Colorado, where Jillian and her father Nolan connect with her. He is a lawyer and expert mediator, Jillian is a skilled genealogist who dives through history, going the extra mile to make a truly complete result for her customers. The back story of Eliza in Memphis in 1878, a wealthy socialite caught up in a yellow fever outbreak, is gently unfolded throughout. The significance of this is gradually revealed. A master of time transitions with an interesting current setting, including a search for the perfect coffee cup. Easy five star rating. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher and NetGalley book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
3.75 stars- This was the first book I’ve read by Olivia Newport. It was an enjoyable story with an intriguing premise. How could a genealogist and her father use genealogy to help a young woman convince her family of doctors that she wasn’t meant to be a doctor too? I liked that the story had a light hearted feel to it and the characters didn’t take themselves too seriously. The town of Canyon Mines had a very laid back feel to it. The lead character, Jillian, seemed much older than her 28 years, more of an old soul. I hope the author will introduce some romance for Jillian in a future story. I liked the split story of the two time periods. It was interesting to learn about Memphis’ yellow fever epidemic in the 1800’s and how that story intertwined with Meri’s story in the modern day. At times Jillian, Nolan and Nia seemed a bit overbearing in their attempts to help Meri and I was kind of surprised she didn’t run away. But in the end I kind of laughed at their antics and chalked it up to good intentions. Genealogy is such a fascinating field and it’s so cool to learn about where you came from. I look forward to reading the next book in the series and seeing how Jillian and Nolan are able to help the next unsuspecting person in need of a little family history. I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
After failing out of medical school, Meri runs away to Canyon Mines, Colorado. Here, she takes a job at the Inn at Hidden Run B&B. Meanwhile, local genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her lawyer/mediator father Nolan encourage Meri to stay true to her decision and pursue her dreams they seek to uncover her family history. I enjoyed the details of genealogy research revealed in "The Inn at Hidden Run." And Jillian's coffee obsession and search for the perfect mug was entertaining and a predictable part of the plot. I didn't appreciate that Jillian and Nolan ambushed Meri and basically forced her to remain in town and confront her past. They also forced her family to stay and work through their disagreement about Meri's decision. To me, that felt invasive and rude. Author Olivia Newport did a good job of tying in the narrative from the Memphis Yellow Fever epidemic to modern day times. I appreciated that she based the incident on real-life circumstances and people. While there is some mention of faith, the book isn't preachy. It focuses on the value of service, the importance of family ties and the necessity of loyal friends. Based on this book, I probably wouldn't buy the next book in the Tree of Life series, but I would read it out of curiosity if I had the opportunity.
This is my first book to read by this author and I must admit it was a little hard to get into. It is written in two time frames. The historical part of the book was interlaced with the contemporary parts by their individual chapters. It was about the Memphis Yellow Fever epidemic that tool place in 1878. The contemporary part is about a young woman running away from her dominating family who are all doctors and insists that she become one also. The book has quirky characters who attempt to help her in becoming her own self. There is a lot about genealogy and tracing the young woman's roots. This book was not a favorite of mine.........I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
"Work will always be there later, but the moment is only here now." "May you always find nourishment for your body at this table. May sustenance for your spirit rise and fill you with each dawn. And my life always feed you with the light of joy along the way." (Lovely Irish table blessing.) As a genealogy addict myself, I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes dual timelines do not work well, but Newport did a superb job of carrying each through without losing the train of thought of either. I enjoyed both the historic and current lines equally. Her research into the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis (which I knew nothing about) was impeccable. I found the main characters in each timeline realistic and admirable. I can totally understand Jillian's obsession and losing track of time when working on genealogy. I have had that happen more times than I can count. I would like to see her find more life outside of her work, but the care she takes with her clients was sweet. The role Nolan played in mediating the estrangement between Meri and her family was wonderful. Although trained as a lawyer, his counseling skills were incredible. In this historic time line, Eliza was amazing. What a kind, caring, loving woman. So selfless, and so giving. The role that she and the nuns played in caring for the thousands stricken and dying from yellow fever was unbelievable. The ending tying the two timelines together was something I suspected, but still left enough hanging that I look forward to the next book in the series, In the Cradle Lies, which releases in November. ** I received a complimentary copy from the publisher through Netgalley to facilitate this review. Opinions are mine alone. I was not compensated for this review.
This book wasn't at all what I expected at the start, but by the end, I was all in. Newport does her usual smooth job of weaving two related stories from different times and places. She made me care so much about Eliza and her love for the poor that the woeful suffering and deaths of a yellow fever epidemic didn't keep me from rushing back to pick up this book. It was a bit harder for me to identify with and enjoy the present day characters. I found Nia abrasive and nosey, and Jillian disappointingly addicted to her coffee. Meri was a mystery to me - she had the gumption to drop her family's plans for her and drive across the country, but couldn't stand up to their phone calls or visits without help from people she only recently knew (and food...a LOT of food!). But eventually I admired her for following her calling. It was great to see her take strength from Jillian's genealogical research and Nolan's emotional support, and start on the road to truly honoring her namesakes. Best of all, I loved the satisfaction of seeing the two very different tales come together. I was hard to keep the tears back the last three chapters! Olivia Newport's books are always keepers on my bookshelf because she has the gift of quietly, subtly, fleshing out history with characters who make me CARE. And drawing contemporary character who make me believe I CAN. The Inn at Hidden Run is no exception, and I can't wait for the rest of this Tree of Life series.
Today we are looking at a new series by Olivia Newport.The Inn at Hidden Run is book 1 in the Tree of Life Series. The next book will follow Fall of 2019. The story is about a young African American girl, Meri Davies, that has come to Canyon Mines, Colorado to escape pressure from her family. They want her to become a doctor like the rest of the family has for centuries, but Meri had flunked out of college and instead of facing the truth she ran to the last place they’d find her. Jillian Parisi-Duffy, a genealogist, and her father Nolan, an attorney, are good friends with the Inn at Hidden Run’s owner, Nia. When Nia informs them of her new found employee, Meri seems like she is hiding something. In order to learn more about the new employee, Jillian does a favor for Nia to make sure that Meri is not running from something that isn’t legal. However, when Jillian begans her investigation she finds a lot of information about the girl’s past. Soon Meri, Nia, Jillian, and Nolan become close friends. Jillian expresses the interest she has for Meri’s family history and explains that may some of her questions about her existance could be answered by her family tree. Jillian soon finds information about a young woman named Eliza Davies. Eliza Davies lived in Memphis at the time of a epidemic outbreak the in 1878. The story unfolds from there. However, I will not go too much in to detail, but give you some food for thought. Will Meri learn the significance of her past and figure out where she belongs in the world, even if it is not being a doctor? Or will Meri run away before she gets an answer to her heart yearning questions? Will her parents accept her decisions and learn to love her for who she is or will they haul her right back to Tennessee? Well.. you are going to have to get a copy to figure out the answers for yourself. I found this book a to be a great read. It was thought provoking and I have to say I enjoyed learning a little about what genealogy can show a person. I found it interesting. Additionally, I loved how the story as written in third person but switch from present day (2019) to the past (1878) every so often giving you a different perspective of things, and how those events affected the present. I don’t want to forget to mention that I thank Barbour Publishing for the opportunity to read this great complimentary book for my honest review. I was not under any obligation to post a review, but I enjoy sharing my reads with you.
This was an interesting story. It was two stories melded into one with different time periods, which eventually were brought into one. Meri is on the run and ends up taking a job in Canyon Mines, Colorado for a Bed and Breakfast. The owner of the B&B suspects that she is on the run and in turn, gets together her nosy friends to root out the information on Meri. The story uses the genealogy experience of Jillian and the quest of information from her dad, Nolan. Along with the other characters sprinkled throughout the book to create a patchwork of history for Meri. Honestly, when I was reading the book all I could think of was how nosy this town was becoming. I’d hate to be going off to a town to restart, only for everyone to be in my business and trying to figure out my back story. Especially without my permission!!! Despite that hiccup, the story did flow along well and wove back and forth and kept me reading. Numerous times I wanted to quit, but just around the corner, on another page there was a nugget that kept me going. The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book or advanced reading copy.
The past has a way of affecting the present... When I started The Inn At Hidden Run I wasn't sure what to expect. I've read a few of Olivia Newport's other books, Amish and historical, but contemporary was a new one for me. I've been interested in my family history since I was a little girl reading my great grandma's copies of her family's history in the corner of her living room. Needless to say, I was intrigued both by the title of the series and the back cover blurb. As I said, I wasn't sure what to expect and I was quite pleasantly surprised. The dual timeline worked very well and I was impressed by Olivia Newport's ease with both the historical and contemporary threads. I was also impressed by the fact that this is not a romance tale at all. No, The Inn At Hidden Run is more about family, both the good and the messy. It's about finding your place, meeting in the middle, and about dealing with the well-meaning but sometimes suffocating expectations of those we love. I was quite the fan of the historical angle as well. I learned so much about the yellow fever epidemic in Memphis in 1878 and I was inspired by the sacrifice of the people who sacrificed themselves. I have to admit that many of the aspects brought up were things I hadn't thought about. What happens to the people left behind in a city brought to its knees by an epidemic no one really understood? The Inn At Hidden Run was a great start to what I think will prove to be an interesting series. I'm definitely looking forward to Olivia Newport's next installment in The Tree Of Life. If you are looking for a story about family dynamics and not hinged on romance I would recommend giving this book a try. (I received a copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are entirely my own.)
I would love to be able to say I loved this book, but I can not. The general story of the book is one that intrigued me. A woman whose family has a long history of being doctors fails out of medical school. Meri runs as far away from her family in Tennessee as she can, and escapes to Canyon Mines, Colorado and takes a job at an inn. Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her father, Nolan are both genealogists who come to Meri’s aid. The part of this book that I did not care for was how it jumps back and forth through time. I understand the pressures parents and family members can place on having the right job in the right field. If my father had been able to convince me, I would be some kind of engineer today. But instead, I followed my own path. So I was rooting for Meri to succeed at following her own path. This is the first book in The Tree of Life Series. While I did not enjoy the jumping back and forth in time, I did enjoy the rest of the story. So check out this book for yourself. I received a copy of this book for your fair and honest review.
I am not one for books that switch between eras. I found this book to be hard to follow and was not immediately drawn in by the story or characters. I love Olivia Newport series that she has written and I did like the family dynamics and how they played well with the theme of Family is important. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review."
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 the 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. My Thoughts: This is a dual timeline novel that connects the past to the present through a family tree. A unique story using genealogy as a focus to bring the characters together in a fascinating storyline. In this book, we find Jillian and her dad, Nolan who try to mediate Meri's family to bring about Meri's dreams of helping children. The dual timeline introduces us to some history of Memphis Tennesee, back in the 1800's during the yellow fever outbreak. The author Olivia Newport does an excellent job of educating us what it was like for the people of Memphis at that time. This is a story about trusting God to follow our dreams or our calling. Sometimes we may not know what fuels those callings, but sometimes it may be in our DNA. I have to be honest, it did bother me that Meri's family expected if not insisted that she be a doctor, just because that's what the family did. They did not stop to think about what her calling in life may have been. This is a wonderful story for those that enjoy genealogy, or it may spark an interest in it. This is a book that will draw the reader's interest. I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more in this series.
The inn at hidden run A part historical and part present time. Two different stories that eventually comes together. I love reading books like this. Two different time periods really makes it interesting. Meri comes to work at the inn. There seems to be a mystery involving her past and Jillian is determined to find out what it is. Why did Meri want to get away from her family. I loved how Jillian wanted to help Meri and loved the mystery. This is book one of a series. I am definitely looking forward to reading more. It doesn’t come out until November. I will keep a watch out for it. I received a advanced copy of the book from the publisher through Celebrate Lit. I was not required to write an positive review. This is my own opinion.
The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport is WONDERFUL! And yes I meant to shout wonderful. Sometimes I read a review and make a decision by just reading the first couple of lines. I want to make sure I have your attention. Lol So to start I thought I was reading two separate books by the same author. Let me explain. The story begins with Jillian, a professional genealogist and her dad, Nolan, a lawyer and mediator. Jillian is friends with her former babysitter, Nia, who has hired an assistant to help at her inn. Nia is positive Meri has a secret. Of course Nia is correct and the mystery begins! Fade to 1878 in Memphis, Tennessee during the yellow fever epidemic. We meet Eliza and Callie. Eliza is a wealthy woman who stays behind when everyone escapes the city to help the nuns with the epidemic. Callie is her freed black servant who stays to take care of Eliza. Honestly, for the longest time I couldn’t find the link between the two stories but both were so intriguing that I didn’t care. I figured eventually Newport would connect the dots. Well she certainly did! I don’t want to give anything away but let’s just say I wish I was a genealogist! It was fascinating reading Jillian’s strategy to help Meri tie the generations together. I can’t praise this book highly enough. I really enjoyed every word. Now, if you will excuse me, I have to go take a nap since I was up late reading! I voluntarily received a copy of this book from Netgalley.
I enjoy studying genealogy, so this book was very interesting for me as one of the main characters, Jillian's job is digging into family trees. Not only does she find ancestors for people, but she has the keen ability to discover more than just the basic roots of their family tree. Her insight into the past helps them discover who they are, and often why they do the things they do. It’s pretty interesting. Her father, a lawyer, just has a way with people. He could work as a therapist with his listening skills and ability to encourage people and understand them. He had a knack for getting them talking and gathering information Jillian could use to help find out about their past. They made a great team! Take the main character, Meri, for instance, she shows up in town, apply's for a job at the Inn owned by Jillian's best friend Nia. Immediately, taken with her, she becomes Nia's "project" of sorts. Nia can tell something about Meri is not right, and enlists the help of her friends Jillian and Nolan to uncover what Meri is hiding and help her through it. The book is mainly about them uncovering her story, as it weaves back and forth from past to present telling the tale that will provide answers into the current situation. Meri is running away from home, trying to escape her family and figure herself out. What she wants versus the expectations and pressures her family is putting on her to become what they think she should be. Eliza, the character from the past, is overcoming her family's social expectations by helping out with a yellow fever outbreak in Memphis instead of running away from town like all the other wealthy socialites have done. I wouldn’t say it was a really fast read, instead I would say it was interesting and I enjoyed it. The characters, the history (especially since I live in TN), and background although fictitious could have really happened. The author incorporated truth of the time period and happenings as it may have happened then. On a side note, I enjoyed Jillian's fixation with coffee, her favorite mugs, the ice cream shop in town, and other sweet but insignificant little details the author included. I am looking forward to other books that will be released in this series. I was blessed with a copy of this book courtesy of Celebrate Lit, the publisher, and author. I was not asked to review this but positively and all opinions are my own
I have enjoyed reading many books by this author and this one is the beginning of a new series. We are in a small town in Colorado and also, we flash back to a horrible time in history in Memphis Tennessee when they suffered from the yellow fever. We are also gifted with a delightful father, a lawyer, and daughter, a genealogist, who endeavor to help a visitor/worker to their town. I really enjoyed putting together the back drop of this visiting family, like doing a puzzle, a great concept and enjoyable read, and am glad we will be coming back! I received this book through Celebrate Lit, and was not required to give a positive review
An amazing story woven together between modern day Colorado and 1878 Memphis during a yellow fever outbreak. What can they possibly have in common? Jillian is a geneologist and plans to find out as she looks into the past of a newcomer to her small town. Meri is secreative about something and Jillian along with her father Nolan plan to figure it out to help her overcome her families expectations of Meri's future. I would recommend reading this story. I did get lost in the story a little at the beginning because it goes quickly between modern day and past to weave the story together. However, it is definitely worth reading. By the end everything comes together. I look forward to reading the next story in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review
I was very interested in reading The Inn at Hidden Run; however, it was a big disappointment. I found it hard to follow. The modern day parts were boring & the characters were flat. The only interesting parts were the historical telling of the yellow fever in 1878 Memphis. But even it was difficult to follow at times. I really wanted to like this book but just couldn’t get into it. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
The Inn at Hidden Run by author Olivia Newport is a dual time period (contemporary and historical) Christian mystery romance. Author Newport is a grand storyteller. She weaves past and present together flawlessly into one poignant tale. This is the contemporary tale of genealogist Jillian and her attorney father, Nolan, from Colorado who together trace family histories for people. It is also the tale of a family of doctors and the yellow fever outbreak in Memphis, Tennessee in late 1870’s. The family turned up in research when Jillian began helping Meri, a new girl in town. This is a very interesting plot. The author did a wonderful job with research and providing an authentic story. I am a historical fiction lover over contemporary, so needless to say, I enjoyed reading that portion just a tad bit more. Author Newport’s tale pulled at my heartstrings. Parts of it brought tears to my eyes. I was invested in both of the intertwined storied. Her style of writing is easy and unrushed. She allows you to soak in all of the details and transport yourself to a different locale or era, and sometimes both. The characters were well rounded. They had good points and flaws. Some of them felt like new friends and I wants to have coffee with them. The historical section read very authentic. The characters were likable and genuinely cared for people. I learned a lot about Memphis and the Yellow Fever. Like I said earlier, this is a well researched, organized, planned, and written novel. The inspirational and faith element is laced throughout this lovely book. Life lessons of forgiveness, grace, finding God’s Will for your life, family, love, caring for ill, and hope are just a few things I found inside the pages. I definitely would recommend this book. Get a book group together so that you will be able to toss some questions around. Genealogy lovers will enjoy the book as will mystery buffs. Contemporary and Historical fiction will each have a section to like and one to test. It gets a 4 out of 5 stars from me. A copy was provided by Celebrate Lit but I was under no obligation to write a review. These are my own honest thoughts.
A mysterious young woman, Meri Davies, shows up in Canyon Mines, Colorado searching for a job. She lands at the Inn at Hidden Run B & B. A local father daughter team… Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her father Nolan are on the case right away. As Meri’s story unfolds we find out that she is on the run from her family and a future in medicine she does not want. Meri has intentionally failed out of medical school and retreated to Colorado in search of something she has not had since childhood… happiness. With a family full of doctors for generations back it won’t be long before Meri’s family finds her and tries to drag her back to medical school. She needs a plan. This is where Jillian and Nolan can help. They begin searching for information in Meri’s family’s past that might be able to unlock a different future that she can love. Jillian is a professional genealogist who is working on several assignments for clients when Meri shows up. Jillian is quite a coffee connoisseur who makes a great barista in a pinch for family, friends and the odd house guest. She offers to take on some research into Meri’s family to help her find peace in her career choice. Nolan, a professional in the art of peaceful negotiation by day and amateur chef on nights and weekends, steps in to be a calming encouraging friend to Meri during her search for a different life. The story goes back and forth between modern day in Colorado and a past in Memphis, Tennessee during an epidemic of yellow fever. The past holds some secrets that even Meri’s family does not know about. The connections that Jillian finds will shock and surprise all of them and impact them in a way they never intended.
This story takes on the topic of genealogy and shows just how fun and interesting that can be. Jillian is a genealogist and lives with her lawyer dad Nolan. Together they are quite a team, especially when a very reclusive stranger by the name of Meri comes into their small town and lives. We also have very nosy Nia and her husband the inn owners who have hired Meri at the Inn. Nia was not necessarily a favorite character of mind as I felt she was just too intrusive. I also felt bad for Jillian as well, she was a quiet, very work oriented person who may have needed to get out a bit more, however everyone was constantly interrupting her work schedule; especially Nia. Anyway, I found Jillian’s job fascinating and how she worked on family trees for her clients, of whom she had several, and each of the clients were interested in genealogy for different reasons. Jillian was very much a detective. Jillian uses her skills as a genealogist to help Meri for a possible reconciliation with her loved ones by tracing back through her tree when the occupation of doctor became so important. This is a time slip novel. We not only have a contemporary story but also a historical one that takes place in 1878 during the outbreak of yellow fever in Memphis, Tennessee. Both stories tie together. This is just the beginning of the Tree of Life series and I look forward to more research that Jillian will dig up. I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Family history and strong emotions are found in this story. Very interesting. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Wish I had some one like Jillian to help me with my genealogy I love the way this split time novel fits all the pieces together perfectly like a jigsaw puzzle that you can’t wait to finish to see the complete picture. I was drawn into this story from the get go and found the characters charming. I love the addition of a glossy picture with river boats in the beginning of the book. It is a nice touch, as I looked at it and imagined the setting. I also loved the relationship aspects of the story between family, friends, new acquaintances, and with God. The past intertwines with the present to show it’s okay to be who God created you to be. Our identity is found in Him. This is the first book in the new Tree of a Life Series. I’ll anxiously await the next one. I received a complimentary copy from the author/CelebrateLit. The honest review and opinions are my own and were not required.