Root, Petal, Thorn by Ella Joy OlsenRoot, Petal, Thorn by Ella Joy Olsen

Root, Petal, Thorn

byElla Joy Olsen

Paperback | August 30, 2016

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"Provocative in the way it explodes and expands the category of historical fiction." --Salt Lake Tribune

In this beautifully written and powerful debut novel, Ella Joy Olsen traces the stories of five fascinating women who inhabit the same  historic home over the course of a century—braided stories of love, heartbreak and courage connect the women, even across generations.
 
Ivy Baygren has two great loves in her life: her husband, Adam, and the bungalow they buy together in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Utah. From the moment she and Adam lay eyes on the  home, Ivy is captivated by its quaint details—the old porch swing, ornate tiles, and especially  an heirloom rose bush bursting with snowy white blossoms.  Called the Emmeline Rose for the home’s original owner, it seems yet another sign that this place will be Ivy’s happily-ever-after…Until her dreams are shattered by Adam’s unexpected death.
 
Striving to be strong for her two children, Ivy decides to tackle the home-improvement projects she and Adam once planned. Day by day, as she attempts to rebuild her house and her resolve, she uncovers clues about previous inhabitants, from a half-embroidered sampler to buried wine bottles. And as Ivy learns about the women who came before her—the young Mormon torn between her heart and anti-polygamist beliefs, the Greek immigrant during World War II, a troubled single mother in the 1960s—she begins to uncover the lessons of her own journey. For every story has its sadness, but there is also the possibility of blooming again, even stronger and more resilient than before…
Ella Joy Olsen lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, in a century old brick bungalow with her husband and three children. She has spent nearly a decade on the Board of Directors for the Salt Lake City Public Library system (and even more years browsing the stacks), and is a member of Women's Fiction Writers and the best book club ever, (SLC B...
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Title:Root, Petal, ThornFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.8 inPublished:August 30, 2016Publisher:KensingtonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1496705629

ISBN - 13:9781496705624

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Wonderful Surprise (4.5 stars) First and foremost, this book reminded me how much I love it when an author weaves together the lives of characters from different periods in time. Spanning from 1913 to present day, Root, Petal, Thorn shares the stories of five women who all, at some point in their lives, call the same house home. An accessible read set in Salt Lake City, Utah – a location I’d never read about before – this book explores everything from love, loss and grief to identity, sacrifice, religious beliefs and family dynamics. Root, Petal, Thorn also features the first (named) depiction of bipolar disorder I’ve ever come across in fiction, and although I can’t say how authentic the portrayal was, it was the most impactful part of the story for me. While I gravitated toward one particular woman’s story more than the rest, Olsen handles all of her characters with tenderness and grace, and although she doesn’t shy away from the difficulties of life, Root, Petal, Thorn was definitely a sleeper hit of my reading year in 2017.
Date published: 2018-01-16