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Publisher's Summary

It has been 24 years since a young Helena spent a magical holiday in Cyprus, where she fell in love for the first time. When the now crumbling house, Pandora, is left to her by her godfather, she returns to spend the summer there with her family.

At the difficult age of 13, her son, Alex, is torn between protecting his mother and learning the truth about his real father. Both Helena and Alex know that life will never be the same once Pandora's secrets have been revealed....

©2016 Lucinda Riley (P)2016 W.F. Howes Ltd

What listeners say about The Olive Tree

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Lucinda Riley Book - Perfect Summer Read

This is now my favorite book by Lucinda Riley. Prior to reading The Olive Tree, my favorite Lucinda Riley book was The Seven Sisters. But Riley's new contemporary novel quickly stole the place of favorite.

Lucinda Riley creates intriguing character dynamics in The Olive Tree and focuses on character development rather than a sweeping story spanning the decades.

This book is a perfect summer read. Set it Cyprus with a tropical locale this book is perfect to read poolside. The drama will keep you captivated throughout with plenty of twists and turns.

I'm an avid reader of Lucinda Riley's book and the first few chapters I thought I had this one all figured out. But I turned out to be wrong and was pleasantly surprised with the twists in store.

13 people found this helpful

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Loved it

Nice family drama that keeps the listener wanting to know what happened. Written with scill and humour. I have ready all of Lucindas books, and though this differs a bit from the others IT is just AS good a book. Love the fact that Lucinda and her son narrated this themselves- and did a splendid job too!

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Pass on This One

I have read all of Ms. Riley's books and it was all I could do to finish this one. Very flat story and characters until the last couple of chapters. Wasn't like her other books. Just droned on. Pass on this one and save the credit.

3 people found this helpful

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Nice, easy listen, cute story

Nice storyline. Sweet characters. Narrator was good except for the one American voice he tried to do. Thank goodness that person only had a few lines. It was ghastly!

2 people found this helpful

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Lacking

Made me tired. A depressing story that lacked any real substance. Not what I was expecting from LR.

2 people found this helpful

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Enjoyable but not my favorite

I was drawn in by the plot however I felt like the authors world-views skewed every character. The plot and decisions made by each character seemed unrealistic and pretty outlandish. I had a difficult time finding a character I liked and respected.

4 people found this helpful

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readers voice

the male reader of the story grated on me, didn't get very far before I deleted this book

1 person found this helpful

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Too predictable

The storyline felt too predictable and at times challenged my staying power. The narration was very good, with the author as the main narrator, she did bring the characters to life.

1 person found this helpful

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Not her best work

I suggest listening to her other titles. This story was flat and not as intriguing or complex as some of her other work.

1 person found this helpful

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Standing ovation - bravo!

This book is published under two titles: The Olive Tree and Helena's story.

The first book I read of this talented author was Hot House Flowers. Eagerly I searched for more stories and have consistently loved her work. Entranced by the Seven Sisters series, this book appeared unexpectedly.

What courage it takes to depart from a tried and true genre. The Olive Tree still leaves me wanting more.

Truly this book illustrates both literally and verbally the depth of her talents.

Narrated by Lucinda Riley herself and her son - the story takes us to Cyprus as we join a family on their summer holidays. All families have secrets and secrets are bound to come out.

If Lucinda ever decided she wanted a career change - she'd be snapped up as a narrator in a heartbeat. Her son does a superb job as well. Truly would love to spend a meal with such a talented and vivacious family.

1 person found this helpful

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  • MaureenS
  • 07-29-16

Mystery!

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

In print, Yes. But as a sound recording definitely NOT

What did you like best about this story?

I enjoyed the way in which the characters were interwoven.

What didn’t you like about Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker ’s performance?

Verbal presentation skills were woefully lacking.

Did The Olive Tree inspire you to do anything?

Yes, it inspired me to not listen to anything else that Ms Riley reads.

Any additional comments?

I have just finished listening to The Olive Tree, by Lucinda Riley.

This is a excellent, stirring story, well written, but spoiled by the author. It is read by the author in such a pedestrian and toe curlingly awful manner as to make it bordering on the boring. That is a great shame. Whoever, at Audible, thought it would be a good idea to have Ms Riley read her own book made a grave mistake. She has skills as a writer but her ability to present her work vocally is non-existent. The book is read appallingly. It is a mystery how she could put so little emotion and intelligence into recording her own work.

Frequently, stress is laid upon the wrong word in a sentence causing it to lack any depth or emotion. Sometimes, stress is placed on the wrong syllable in a word, making it sound ridiculous; an example being 'BEEquest'. No, it's not a hunt for bees, it's the money left to a woman in her mother's will. She reads in such a disinterested manner, without appropriate inflection, that it strips all emotion from the narrative.

Effort at characterisation is minimal. The exception is when she has a go at a foreign accent, but all she achieves is to make the character sound bored or ridiculous. It takes more than adding a vowel to the end of a English word to make somebody sound Italian. Necessary pauses are missing and surrounding text blended into speech in a confusing way.

All-in-all this was a very disappointing purchase. I only persisted in listening as I liked the story and and wanted to hear the end, but even so, it was difficult to dispel my constant irritation with Ms Riley.

The male reader, the author's son, was a little better, but not much.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-16

Poor narration

Harry was a very good narrator unfortunately Lucinda's narratives I found very irritating and wooden

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • GillB
  • 09-24-16

Could have been much better

It was difficult to get into this book but once I did it was a good story with interesting characters. The one thing I hated was the constant use of blasphemy. I have read many books with great stories, gripping plots, and interesting characters without the constant use of bad language and blasphemy in particular. To me this was a good read spoiled and if this is the style of writing that Lucinda Riley is going to use in her future books, I for one will not be buying them.

11 people found this helpful

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  • White Rabbit
  • 03-23-17

Not her best and I normally love Lucinda's books

Would you try another book written by Lucinda Riley or narrated by Lucinda Riley and Harry Whittaker ?

Ideally not. I found Lucinda's narration very irritating. And lots of words mispronounced which was unexpected for someone speaking in RP English.

What was most disappointing about Lucinda Riley’s story?

It was predictable and slow and I felt that when the secret was revealed the characters reacted in an unbelievable way.

You didn’t love this book--but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Not really

10 people found this helpful

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  • Lou
  • 12-21-16

Could have been so much better

The accents are all 'frightfully posh darling' and it is grating to listen to, I only I suffered on as the story seemed intriguing. But for the greatest part of the book nothing happens! What I found amazing is that what is imagined in the characters thoughts is more exciting than what actually happens in the story. The suggested truth to the big puzzle of the story could have been so much more exciting than the eventual far fetched explanation. I've about 3hrs to go but I don't think I'll make it.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-09-17

how I loved this book.

This book for me was a slow burn, but after a few chapters, I was hooked. The bit at the end with Lucinda & Harry are also really interesting

3 people found this helpful

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  • thevaal
  • 12-19-16

slow burner

at the beginning of the book I felt I could have easily not finished it....but by the end I was hooked and didnt want it to end and I miss the characters and what is happening in their lives

3 people found this helpful

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  • Viv
  • 06-09-20

Wooden telling of dull, predictable, shallow story

I gave up on this after 2hrs.
the authors reading of it is terrible as well!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Angela
  • 09-20-16

fantastic page turner

mystery secrets lies etc and love lost and found. I loved it. written in past and present.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Sally Clifford
  • 05-20-21

Great story, terrible narration

As stories go thus was quite enjoyable but my god the narration was irritating. Young Immy with her speech impediment nearly made me switch off.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Paddington
  • 09-10-19

Enthralling book

A most enjoyable book with interesting twists and some unexpected turns. Colourful characters involved in modern day relationships and family situations. I loved it. Never boring, kept me interested and keen to know what mystery would be revealed. I’m now a follower of Lucinda Riley and eager for another one of her books.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Zechy
  • 03-22-18

Brilliant

Such a beautiful story, so fabulously written I could imagine myself right there watching the story unfold.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-16-21

What a treat!!!! Couldn’t get enough

Epic story with love, romance and heartache. Extra bonus is that it’s narrated by Lucinda and her son. Loved Alex’s humour. He has me laughing out aloud through the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Teresa
  • 12-14-16

Loved Harry Whittaker narrating this book.

The character of Alex was definitely my favourite. He was very amusing and Harry was the perfect narrator. I found myself chuckling.

Chloe was pretty unbelivable. A little one dimensional and her father was a bit of a sap, but I did enjoy this book.

It is a good summer read although I found it a little unbelievable that the family left Pandora empty for so many years. I would want to return yearly.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jacqueline Benz
  • 02-14-21

Dissapointing

Sorry Lucinda, I normally sing your praises.
This book however at the beginning was rather trite. Far too much sibling squabbling .
Their voices irritated me so I fast forwarded.
My biggest criticism is the blasphemy. Every exclamation was CHRIST this or CHRIST that.
Why we never take Buddha or or other religious leaders names as a curse word mystifies me.
I guess we would be imprisoned if we used the one beginning with M!
Yes, I am a Christian and although I can tolerate the odd swear word for in context frustration,
I do take exception to the name of Jesus Christ bantered in profanity as He is our Saviour and deserves respect if not reverence.
The ending of the book (which I fast forwarded to) really improved however.
I have listened to many of your books and I think you are a very good author, jut disappointed in this one :(
Jacqui

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-30-21

Absolutely loved this book

Although very different from Lucindas usual writing this book is brilliant and you will not be disappointed

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  • Robyn Smith
  • 10-17-19

Terrible

Very disappointing book.
Don’t waist your money. Its
just not the best from Lucinda Riley.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-20-19

Hidden Secret

Originally from Cyprus this story with its twists and turns took me right back to memories. Beautifully narated by both. i love Lucinda Riley's style

  • Overall