What You Said to Me by Olivia Newport: Book Review
About the Book
Book: What You Said to Me
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Christian Fiction
Release Date: November 2020
Book 4 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees
When 15-year-old Tisha Crowder gets caught shoplifting, attorney Nolan Duffy tries to protect her from consequences that could rattle her already troubled life. His daughter, Jillian, feels like she’s the one being punished instead—by having Tisha assigned to work with her on a backlog of genealogy files. Tisha doesn’t seem interested in taking the job seriously, and Jillian’s patience wears thin. Besides, everyone in Canyon Mines knows the Crowder family has experienced generations of brokenness. Then a sliver of hope turns up in long-ago words in plain sight, challenging shrouded assumptions about Tisha’s family. Now Jillian is the one who can walk with Tisha back to 1893 and uncover where everything went wrong in the first place—and save her from the past.
What You Said to Me is the fourth book in the Tree of Life series by Olivia Newport. You’ll want to return to the lovely Colorado mountain town of Canyon Mines again and again to explore and celebrate unforgettable family stories that will inspire you to connect with your own family histories and unique faith journeys.
Click here to get your copy!
Oh, where to begin!
First of all, What You Said to Me has to be my favorite of the Tree of Life series. The author’s careful attention to detail and the way she weaves the timelines together so that you know just enough about the past to help you understand but without giving too much away is phenomenal.
Second, I love Nolan and Jillian. That has always been the case, but I love them even more now. Nolan sometimes has this carefree attitude, but in this book, it’s much easier to see the depth of his feelings. He brought Tisha into his home without a second thought because he knew she needed him. And she needed Jillian, and whether Jillian knew it or was willing to accept it, she needed Tisha.
This is a story of the words we say, and the ones we keep wrapped up inside. What we say matters. What we feel matters. HOW we say what we feel…matters.
I loved the sense of family I took away from What You Said to Me. Tisha hasn’t had an easy life, and she has family dynamics that most of us would shy away from. This made Tisha wary, self-reliant, and add in the fact she’s fifteen and you’ve written a recipe for disaster. That made this story all the better as I took away the fact that family doesn’t have to be the people you’re born to. Family can be more. And while we are born into our circumstances, who we become is not always defined by the example passed down the family tree.
We are ALL part of God’s family. Something that Olivia Newport showed through her work in a subtle way that rings with sincerity.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to leave a positive review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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 Pikes Peak.
More from Olivia
“You didn’t just say that.” Or, “I can’t believe you said that.”
Have you ever said that in retort to someone whose comment offended or wounded? I know I have. But what cuts me even more deeply is when I say to myself, “I can’t believe I just said that.”
The words of a parent at wit’s end, a spouse harboring hurt, a friend saddened by misunderstanding, an employee feeling undercut—they have all been my words. And they came out too fast to swallow back before they did their damage.
I hope I have also had the words of a parent who set aside busyness to listen, a spouse offering loving encouragement, a friend checking in with someone going through a tough patch, a coworker curious to see how I could help rather than compete. Those are the kinds of words I’ve never regretted, never had to repent of, never had to do rebuild from.
I certainly didn’t write What You Said to Me because I think I get it right all the time or even most of the time. Far from it! In our culture of rushing and achieving and—let’s face it, sometimes just getting through the demands of the day—sometimes our words are the last thing we are careful with. Yet they have the longest lasting consequence in our relationships and families—sometimes for generations. The dual-timeline story traces how words that injure became a pattern in one family line until one girl finally fought back to find healing for her future.
My challenge for myself, and all who read What You Said to Me, is to be the person who speaks healing words of hope so that “I can’t believe you said that” becomes “Thank you for saying that.”
If you have a particularly poignant experience of how another’s words impacted you, I’d love to hear from you.