I received a copy of Root, Petal, Thorn as an eARC from the publisher, Kensington Books, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Root, Petal, Thorn follows the stories of five women who lived in the same house on Downington Avenue in Salt Lake City over the years since it was built, telling the stories that the walls held within them – Emmeline, the young Mormon torn between her heart and anti-polygamist beliefs; Bitsy, a young girl whose family falls apart; Eris, the Greek immigrant during World War II; Lainey, a troubled single mother in the 1960s; and modern-day Ivy Bagren, whose husband has just passed away, leaving her and her children to finish the renovations of this beautiful house. As Ivy works through her grief, she finds little things throughout the house from its previous inhabitants, and begins earnestly researching the history of her home.
The project helps Ivy to work through the loss of her husband, as well as show her that there is still light left in her life. Each of the ladies of the house had their own distinct personalities, and their own losses, but all of them were wonderful characters. My favorite of the characters was probably Lainey, even though her story broke my heart. Imagining what she could have done for herself with modern medicine
I really enjoyed the plot, although I know that I wouldn’t have made the same choices as Emmeline did. Her choice was the one thing that felt odd to me, but I won’t say any more than that, cause I don’t want to spoil you. I wish we had seen a little more of her throughout the book, but I think we got a good view of all of the characters that gave this little house all the character it had.
You can find Olsen on her website, Facebook and Twitter, if you want to keep up with her until the next book comes out! Root, Petal, Thorn’s companion novel, Where the Sweet Bird Sings will be published in fall 2017. I can honestly say that I’ll be picking it up when it comes out. I rated this novel four stars, so I hope that you guys will like this as much as I did.
Ella Joy Olsen’s author bio says “I was born, raised, and currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah – a tidy town tucked against the massive Wasatch Mountain Range. Though Utah is known mostly for Mormons and skiers, I am neither. Oh, but I love my town. I live in a historic brick bungalow on a tree-lined street in a sweet neighborhood called Sugar House. From my front door I can reach the mountain trails in five minutes flat, passing an indie bookstore, a library, and a local food market en-route. I’m the proud mom of three kids ranging from pre-teen to edge-of-the-nest teen, the mama of two dogs, and the wife of one patient husband.
“Though I’m crazy about words, I’m also practical, so I graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Finance. After years spent typing boring stuff, I eagerly gave up my corner cubicle and started writing fiction. Most at home in the world of the written word, I spent nearly a decade on the Board of Directors of the Salt Lake City Public Library system (and four decades browsing the stacks). I’m a member of Tall Poppy Writers, Women’s Fiction Writers Association and the best book club ever (Salt Lake Bibliophiles). I’ve also lived in Seattle, Washington and Savannah, Georgia. Aside from my family, writing, and books – I love wine, coffee, my dogs, hiking, and travel.”
This book publishes in paperback tomorrow, so go to your favorite bookstore and grab a copy, or order one through IndieBound!