The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo (win from Bookreporter.com Sneak Peak contest )
Meet the Keller family, five generations of firstborn women—a line of daughters unbroken—living together in the same house on a secluded olive grove in the Sacramento Valley of Northern California.
Anna, the family matriarch, is 112 and determined to become the oldest living woman in the world. An indomitable force, strong in mind and firm in body, she rules Hill House, the family home she shares with her daughter Bets, granddaughter Callie, great-granddaughter Deb, and great-great granddaughter Erin. Though they lead ordinary lives, there is an element of the extraordinary to these women: all are defying longevity norms. Their unusual lifespans have caught the attention of a geneticist who believes they hold the key to breakthroughs that will revolutionize the aging process for everyone.
But Anna is not interested in unlocking secrets the Keller blood holds. There are some truths that need to stay hidden, she believes, including certain knowledge about her origins that she has carried for more than a century. Like Anna, each of the Keller women conceals their truth self from the others. While they are bound by blood and the house they share, living together has not always been easy. And it is about to become more complicated now that Erin, the youngest, is back, alone and pregnant, after two years abroad with an opera company. Her return and the arrival of the geneticist who has come to study the Keller family ignites explosive emotions that these women have kept buried and uncover revelations that will shakes them all to their roots.
Told from varying viewpoints, Courtney Miller Santo’s compelling and evocative debut novel captures the joys and sorrows of family the love, secrets, disappointments, jealousies, and forgiveness that tie generations to one other.
Flight from Berlin by David John (for review from Harpers via TLC Book Tours)
A cynical English reporter and a beautiful, headstrong, American Olympic hopeful are caught in a lethal game of international espionage during the 1936 Berlin Olympics in Flight from Berlin, a riveting debut thriller from breakout novelist David John. Combining the suspense and atmosphere of Alan Furst’s spy novels with the exciting narrative drive of Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon adventures, John delivers an unforgettable masterwork of thrilling suspense set against the backdrop of one of the most monumental summers in history—a contest of champions, including the remarkable Jessie Owen, that captivated the world as the specter of Nazi Germany continued its rise to threaten the globe
Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock (from paperbackswap.com)
By turns poignant, disarming and bittersweet, Me & Emma is the unforgettable story of an endearingly precocious child and her determination to put the pieces of her fractured life back together.
In many ways, Carrie Parker is like any other eight-year-old—playing make-believe, dreading school, dreaming of faraway places. But even her imagination can't shut out the realities of her impoverished North Carolina home or help her protect her younger sister, Emma. As the big sister, Carrie is determined to do anything to keep Emma safe from a life of neglect and abuse at the hands of their drunken stepfather, Richard—abuse their momma can't seem to see, let alone stop. But after the sisters' plan to run away from home unravels, their world takes a shocking turn—and one shattering moment ultimately reveals a truth that leaves everyone reeling.