“Jillian Parisi-Duffy was of firm enough character to defend her choice regardless of the criticism, and she had faced plenty. First, from her father before she left the house that morning. “If you plan to spend most of your time sitting in the lodge with a book, at least take a novel.”“Bye, Dad,” was all she said as she shoved her choice in her bag and went out the front door to meet Kristina Bryant in her idling sedan. Then there was Kris. “That’s the book you brought to read while I ski?”

Opening lines of In the Cradle Lies by Olivia Newport

In the Cradle Lies by Olivia Newport is a continuation of the Tree of Life series which began with The Inn at Hidden Run. Genealogist, Jillian and family lawyer, Nolan are the narrators and the delightful father-daughter duo, once again, lead us through the story.

As in the first book, the split-narrative highlights the effect context can have on who we become and what we believe about ourselves and our family. Having received a piece of the historical puzzle of his family, Tucker’s world shatters. Disengaging with his world, he escapes to Canyon Mines and the locals befriend him. Amongst the present-day narrative are historical portions set in St. Louis in the 1930s where the reader follows a young boy struggling in his family home and noticing his father’s suspicious behaviour.

Working to understand Tucker’s reckless behaviour, Jillian and Nolan dig into his history and bring the two stories together. To share more would be to give away the twists in the tale which make it so interesting.

Whilst the mystery unfolds, small town life brings a joyful and fun element to the story. Jillian and Nolan are a delight and it was lovely to see other great characters in the novel again. I thoroughly enjoyed it, it’s a five out of five on the en-JOY-ment scale.

From the back cover:

On a solo ski vacation in Canyon Mines, Colorado, Tucker has a love-hate relationship with his wealth, spending indiscriminately while skiing fearlessly and preparing to conquer the overgrown slope of Hidden Run, a dangerous run not attempted in decades. As genealogist Jillian tries to uncover enough of Tucker’s family tree to understand his charming nature but reckless resolve, Jillian’s equally charming father, Nolan, cajoles Tucker into giving him ski lessons to get him talking about the suspicious circumstances surrounding his grandfather’s life in St. Louis in the 1930s. 

On the surface, Tucker’s family’s history seems too perfect. The secret may lie in the sealed envelope Tucker carries with him at all times—even on the ski slope. When no one can find Tucker to tell him the fiancée he never mentioned turned up in Canyon Mines, they realize he must be off attempting to ski Hidden Run alone in a snowstorm. And they may be too late. 

In the Cradle Lies is the second 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.

I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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