About the Book
A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Present to Past on Family TreesMeri flunks out of medical school—and runs from her parents. Genealogist Jillian Parisi-Duffy’s digging traces the family long tradition of doctors to an ancestor saved during a yellow fever outbreak in Memphis in 1878. As Meri’s family closes in, Jillian gets the final puzzle pieces in place just in time for them all to learn the truth. The Inn at Hidden Run is the first book in the Tree of Life series. Readers will come back to backdrop of a lovely mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that inspire them to connect with their own family histories and unique faith journeys.
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I’ve decided I love history. A subject that was so boring in school has now come to life. When an author can connect real facts with a fictional tale, weaving them together to create a tapestry of intrigue and healing, you know you’ve found something wonderful.
Although this is Meri’s story, we hear it through Jillian and her father’s perspective. Genealogy has interested me for years, and I’ve found myself leaning toward books that include genealogists. The Inn at Hidden Run fits that bill to a tee. The time slip is well done, bringing Meri’s past and present together with a bang. Your past truly can affect your future. Where you come from is important, something Meri’s family is trying to shove down her throat without considering what Meri needs.
On the writing front, there’s a steady beat to the flow. I didn’t notice any deeply lagging bits but there’s also no great hooray moment. Since the book is general Christian Fiction, that’s what I expected.
Spiritually, Jillian and Norman seem solid. It’s subtle but good. Norman’s occupation as lawyer and professional mediator make him perfect for dealing with Meri’s family while Jillian does her genealogy magic. My only complaint, sometimes I had no idea if I was reading from Jillian or Norman’s point of view. Knowing wouldn’t have changed the story, but my head makes up voices when I’m reading and when I don’t know who’s thinking, I don’t know how to interpret the voice.
In answer to the post title, no, running away does not solve your problems. But you also have to understand Meri’s family before you pass judgment on her head-in-the-sand mentality. Meri needed someone in her corner to back her up, someone capable of making her family pause, take a step back, and evaluate their own action.
About the Author
Olivia Newport’s novels twist through time to find where faith and passions meet. Her husband and twentysomething children provide welcome distraction from the people stomping through her head on their way into her books. She chases joy in stunning Colorado at the foot of the Rockies, where daylilies grow as tall as she is.
More from Olivia
Of Family Lines and Family Lore
I suppose it all started in a cemetery.
Once, while a group of relatives were visiting a cemetery, one of my cousins and I wandered off and looked at all sorts of graves, speculating about the names we read and the lives they represented. We were duly scolded both for separating from our families, which caused some consternation, and for being disrespectful—though I think the second accusation was a false one!
Just because we were young children didn’t mean we were disrespecting the dead. Quite the opposite. We were respecting lives long forgotten with our curiosity about who they were and what legacies they left.
These days a lot of people are interested in genealogy. Entire TV series spin around the theme, and DNA kits show up in Christmas stockings. Lost branches of family trees find the main trunk—sometimes with big surprises.
My new Tree of Life series is set in the backdrop of a lovely Colorado mountain town I hope you’ll want to visit often, where a father-daughter genealogy team link present to past on family trees and characters learn about who they are, where they come from, and their unique faith journeys as they discover their own Tree of Life.
It all starts with The Inn at Hidden Run. When Meri arrives in Canyon Mines because she wants to run away from her family, true answers come from understanding the past that generations have forgotten—the accounts from another time and place no longer handed down but that still form the backbone of the family’s story.
What’s the backbone of your family’s history? How is it shaping your own future?