The firstborn women of a remarkable family in northern California are blessed with a rare longevity. Super-centarian Anna and her descendants are brought together when a geneticist is interested in studying what makes so unique in their ability to age gracefully and maintain their faculties. But with his discoveries, secrets about the family are revealed. Anna’s origins come under scrutiny as she tries to claim the title of world’s oldest person. Anna’s daughter Bets is conflicted about her past with her husband who is suffering from dementia. Bet’s daughter Callie is addicted to pills after a plane crash left her in constant pain. Callie’s daughter Deb served 20 years in prison for murdering her husband. Deb’s daughter Erin shows up in trouble, only to welcome the sixth generation into the family.
With five strong-willed women forced to examine the details of their lives, there is a fair amount of conflict, but also an understanding between them regarding what makes them so special. They toy with the notion that the olive groves that are their legacy are responsible for their endurance, but come to understand that a unique genetic mutation is the key to their gift.
The dialogue was somewhat hard to follow when the women were gathered and speaking over one another. It could have been handled more skillfully so that I wasn’t uncertain who was speaking when. There were a few loose ends that weren’t addressed (what’s up with the twins?), and I wished there were more details about their unique genetics. Overall, I felt the story was strong and it was very easy connecting with these women despite their flaws.
I received a complimentary copy of this book via TLC Book Tours.