Review: The Tree of Everlasting Knowledge by Christine Nolfi
Author: Christine Nolfi
Published: March 15, 2012
Summary (From Goodreads):
A savage rape on hallowed ground. Secrets buried for decades by the town’s most influential family.
Now Ourania D’Andre will learn the Great Oak’s secrets as construction begins at the Fagan mansion. She can’t afford to turn down a job that promises to stir up the long-buried guilt—and the passion—she shares with powerful Troy Fagan.
She’s already juggling the most important job of her career with her new responsibilities as a foster mother for young Walt and Emma Korchek. And there’s a hard, older man on the construction crew with eyes void of emotion—cold and killing. The secrets of his brutal past will pose a grave threat to the children in her care. Will she find the courage to face him?
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.