Anna Keller, at 112, is the oldest of five generations of women who live among the olive groves in Kidron, California. Anna's father, Percy, brought the family to the United States from Brisbane near the turn of the century, along with year-old olive trees he got from Spain. In fact, some of those original trees are still alive on the family's land and cultivated. What's amazing about the Keller women is that they are all the firstborn and female. Their longevity has caught the attention of Amrit Hashmi, a scientist from the University of Pittsburgh who has come to interview the women to try to uncover what makes them so special. In the novel, Santo explores the lives of all five women: Anna, ninety-year old Bets, Bet's daughter, Callie, Deb, who's in prison, and Deb's daughter, Erin, who has recently come home from Europe. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the relationships between the women over the years and the setting of Northern California. For fans of Jo-Ann Mapson, Judith Ryan Hendricks, and people who enjoy novels about family relationships.
I'm a librarian with a background in Reader's Advisory who left librarianship for domestic...uh...bliss.
From 1992-2003 I worked at the Downers Grove (IL) Public Library. I served on YALSA's Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults (1998-2000, chair 2000) and Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers (2001-2003, chair 2002). I wrote the article "Zap! Woosh! Kerplow! Build High Quality Graphic Novel Collections With Impact" (School Library Journal, January 1997). I am a substitute Reference Librarian at the Indian Prairie Public Library.