About the Book
Book: Now That I Know You
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Split-Time Contemporary/Historical
Release date: Fall, 2021
Cate Butler is the distant cousin genealogist Jillian was so certain she wanted to find—and the only connection she has to her deceased mother’s Parisi family tree. So why does she wish Cate would stop pestering her? And why can’t Jillian find a paper trail proving Cate is who she says she is?
Cate wants something for her own career that Jillian can’t give, but she also holds the key to family history Jillian can’t bring herself to walk away from. Nolan, Jillian’s father, steps in when Cate’s chronic career chaos requires legal rescue. Drew, the man who holds Jillian’s heart, has a surprising past with Cate. The truths Jillian, Cate, and Drew find while untangling these knotted threads tie them back together in remarkable ways none of them ever would have imagined.
Now That I Know You is Book 5 in the Tree of Life series, exploring and celebrating unforgettable family stories in Canyon Mines, the mountain town that invites you back again and again.
I have been enjoying the Tree of Life series ever since the first one was written. Each one has been very interesting, and I think they have gotten better as the series went on! I enjoy split-time novels when they are done well, and these are done very well. The fourth book was supposed to be the last in the series, but, along with many other readers, I wanted another—and Olivia Newport wrote it! Now That I Know You wraps up the series nicely.
Jillian is going crazy, because her phone is going crazy. One notification after another comes in, one text after another—and all from one person. Her long-lost fourth cousin (or fourth cousin once removed?) Cate is blowing up Jillian’s phone with texts begging for help with something, and they haven’t even met yet! What does Cate want, and why can’t Jillian find her name anywhere in Colorado? Who is she really, anyway?
When they finally meet in person, and genealogist Jillian finds out what Cate wants, she knows she can’t help. However, Cate has family history, from Jillian’s mother’s side of the family, that Jillian badly wants, so she can’t just cut off the connection. Then, Cate gets herself into trouble, and Jillian’s father Nolan steps in. When Jillian learns that her boyfriend Drew has known Cate for years—under a different name—things really get interesting!
I really enjoyed this book. There are some very intense scenes, in the historical timeline sections. A little-known event in history is described, which I had never heard of. I found this part very interesting. I also loved the contemporary timeline. Nolan is so fun! I love him singing Italian opera while he cooks delectable meals, and his advice is always timely. He had a mystery going throughout the book, as well as the one with Cate. I also enjoyed revisiting Canyon Mines, Colorado. Thought it is a fictitious town, to my knowledge, it feels very real as I read these books. I love the town and the people in it! It was also fun to meet characters again who were in the other books. This book has a lot to do with Jillian’s Italian relatives, both in the present and in the historical timeline. That was fun, and felt authentic. The one thing I didn’t like quite so well about this book was the kissing. Jillian and Drew kissed every time they met up with each other, and the descriptions were a bit much for me. The language, however, is very clean. Overall, I consider this a good book, and I’m going to miss this series if there are no more installments.
I received a review copy of this book from the author, and these are my honest thoughts about it. Links may be affiliate links, which will benefit Esther’s website if purchases are made through them.
About the Author:
Olivia Newport’s novels blend the truth of how our pasts carry us into where we find ourselves now. Curiosity about history seems to creep into everything she does. Her books include Amish, historical, and contemporary stories that span the centuries from before the Revolutionary War right up to the present moment.
She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of Pikes Peak. Visit www.olivianewport.com.
More From Olivia:
I’ve wanted to write Now That I Know You for nearly 20 years—at least the historical story part of this split-time novel.
When my son was a freshman in high school, he joined the mock trial team, and my husband and I entered the league of parents who watched versions of the same competition over and over. The state bar association selects a case and provides every team with the same documents to study as the basis of preparing both prosecution and defense. Team members play roles of attorneys and witnesses.
That first year, the case was trying a particular individual in connection with his role in events that culminated in the 1914 “Ludlow Massacre,” which is featured in Now That I Know You. My son played a witness for the prosecution. My proudest moment was when one of the scoring judges—who are actual court judges—singled him out for his skill in recognizing and dodging the opposing counsel’s interrogation strategy. Somebody hold me in my chair, because you really are not supposed to jump and cheer at mock trial!
Since I heard the case several times, the history wormed its way into my heart and mind. The injustice and tragedy of the story weighed heavy, but so did the legacy of the events and their eventual impact on history that affects us even today. People often ask where book ideas come from. Sometimes they germinate inside me for a long time before the moment is ripe to put them on the page in the lives of characters who have grown around them. This is one of those stories.
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