By: Olivia Newport
Publisher: Shiloh Run Press
Publication: May 2020
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Olivia Newport serves up a delicious treat for her audience with the third book in her Tree of Life Series: When I Meet You.
Jillian Parisi-Duffy embraces her work as a genealogist. One of the most rewarding parts is when she can step back and admire the finished product from the fruits of her labor. After hours of research and connecting the dots of many familial layers, her reward is to see the finished product of a family tree. Her dad Nolan loves his work too. He’s an accomplished attorney and has built quite a practice and reputation for himself over the years. They are blessed to live in the quaint community of Canyon Mines; a sleepy bed and breakfast town just about an hour (give or take) from Denver, Colorado. However, on this day, Nolan has had enough of his daughter’s sequestration in her office. It’s time to whisk her away on an adventure. One of Nolan’s clients, a museum curator, has acquired a mysterious steamer trunk, circa turn of the century. Before it goes on display, he needs Nolan to look at it. Records were found inside that warrant some legal evaluation because it appears as though the trunk’s owner was involved in some foul play. Sadly, given the age of the trunk and the lack of clear information of the whereabouts of the rightful owner (or descendants of the original owner), Nolan’s legal acumen is needed. But wait. Isn’t Jillian a genealogist? Isn’t this what she does for a living? As adept as she is at her job, nothing could have prepared her for her findings once she digs into her research.
Meanwhile, back in Canyon Mines, the townspeople are bustling in preparation of a grand fundraising soiree. Nolan’s contribution will be his culinary skills that will entail delectable delights for 200 guests. Jillian will be the keynote speaker and the subject matter? What else, but a dissertation on what her work as a genealogist entails; highlighted with anecdotes of some of her more intriguing projects. However, there’s a whole lot of behind the scenes going on leading up to the gala. After doing some preliminary poking around concerning the steamer trunk, Jillian finds herself on a mini road trip that takes her south near Durango. There may be a connection to it and possibly distant relatives to the original owner of the trunk. Suffice it to say, a warm welcome is far from what she receives upon arriving at the home of her latest lead.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading a couple of previous works by Olivia Newport. One book happens to be book number one in the Tree of Life Series: The Inn at Hidden Run.The beauty in both books is while it’s not essential to read the series in order to stay connected with the characters, it’s recommended due to the entertainment value. I say this because it’s like reconnecting with old friends with each successive novel. Ms. Newport is creative with the storyline in that there is a new predicament with multiple layers in each edition. She builds a delightful relationship between father and daughter (Nolan and Jillian) characters that is relatable. The dialogue is crisp, and the scenery is picturesque and spot on when it comes to describing the wonders and beauty of Colorado. Having lived there for many years, it’s like revisiting a place from my past. I commend Ms. Newport for her innate ability to keep the story engaging, interesting and moving forward. By book’s end, the reader is satisfied and looking forward to starting the ‘next chapter/adventure’ in this series.
Quill says: When I Meet You is a feel-good novel that is a solid example of what a good read is all about.