About the Book
Book: When I Meet You
Author: Olivia Newport
Genre: Christian fiction
Release Date: May, 2020
Book 3 in the Tree of Life Series: A Father-Daughter Genealogy Team Link Faith Journeys on Family Trees
A trunk abandoned at Denver’s Union Station more than a century ago leads Jillian and Nolan to untangle the mystery of its contents—including correspondence with the head of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Denver office. While Nolan digs into the legalities of the findings, Jillian searches for the descendants of a stolen identity who might not be who they think they are on Colorado ranch land. When Drew seems anxious to hear what Jillian has to say but his Great Aunt Min slams the subject closed—twice—Jillian is all the more determined to find out what happened to the woman who never claimed her luggage, why Min doesn’t want to talk about it, and what will happen for Drew if he gets the answers he seeks.
When I Meet You is the third 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.
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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
Stolen Identity or Stolen Secrets?
Years ago I made a business trip to a country in Asia. Somehow I managed to pack for two weeks in carry-on luggage. This was before everyone started carrying electronic devices that required a bag of their own, and the impoverished area I visited had only intermittent electricity anyway.
When it was time to come home, my luggage met the requirements to keep it with me as I traveled halfway around the world through several airports. But at the boarding gate, a woman pushed a cart stacked with six oversized and overstuffed suitcases, insisting she had to take all of them on the plane. Her argument was that she couldn’t risk losing her personal belongings. She was moving back to the States, this was everything she owned, and she just wasn’t having this nonsense about abiding by the same limitations as the other 300 people in line or that none of those bags would fit in an overhead compartment anyway. The airline staff began waving people around her to get the large aircraft boarded on time for an international flight. She was one of the last people to take her seat—without her bags.
I admit I prefer keeping my bags with me and getting in and out of airports quickly. And once my bags didn’t come off the same plane I did, and it took a few hours for them to be delivered to me.
But what happens to truly unclaimed baggage? One-half to one percent of baggage that goes through American airports is never claimed. Airlines will try for ninety days to find the owners. If they can’t, they have to do something with it. Generally it’s sold, sight unseen, to the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama. There it is opened and sorted into what can be cleaned and sold in their store, what might be donated, and what has no value and is disposed of as trash. They find some pretty interesting things!
But my brain goes back to the curious question of why the baggage is unclaimed in the first place.
It’s not just because the airline lost it. We’ve all seen the lines of suitcases that baggage handlers remove from the circling conveyer belt because they’ve been around enough times that it’s obvious no one is there to pick them up after the flight. People got off the plane and left the airport without their bags. Why?
My new book, When I Meet You, raises the same question about travel in the railroad era. A trunk abandoned at Denver’s Union Station more than a century ago surfaces, leading genealogist Jillian and her lawyer father, Nolan, to untangle the mystery of its contents—including correspondence with the head of Pinkerton’s National Detective Agency Denver office. While Nolan digs into the legalities of the findings, Jillian searches for the descendants of a stolen identity who might not be who they think they are on Colorado ranch land. When Drew seems anxious to hear what Jillian has to say but his Great Aunt Min slams the subject closed—twice—Jillian is all the more determined to find out what happened to the woman who never claimed her luggage, why Min doesn’t want to talk about it, and what will happen for Drew if he gets the answers he seeks.
When I Meet You is the third book in the Tree of Life series. 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.
As someone interested in genealogy, even though I’ve never really pursued it, the Tree of Life series intrigued me from the very beginning. I love reading about Jillian’s work and research because, although it is fictional, it is also based on the real efforts of contemporary genealogists, and it speaks to that desire in all of us to know where we come from and who our ancestors are. That is also where the faith element fits in so perfectly, because ultimately we are all children of our Father God, and He has given us such a glorious legacy through Jesus!
Of the three books in this series thus far, “When I Meet You” is my favorite. Author Olivia Newport is now, by book three, really settling us in to Canyon Mines, Colorado, and I feel like a part of this small but bustling town. This book is also the most personal for the characters, who are becoming more dynamic. I have enjoyed them from the outset, but I realized while reading this latest addition to the series that they are growing in their relationships with each other. For the first time, Jillian’s past grief comes to the forefront, making her very vulnerable and resulting in some uncharacteristic behavior. Her relationship with Nolan, her dad, hits a few poignant patches, making it much more credible and relatable than the sweet but perhaps too-perfect connection that we have seen prior. I can relate to Jillian’s perseverance and nearly obsessive doggedness in solving the mystery, and I would find it difficult to set aside also.
This is also my favorite mystery of the three. Each book is a split-time story, with the primary story occurring in the present, but also with part of the plot worked out through scenes from the past. The personal connection that the characters have to this story truly enhances it and adds a great deal of dimension. To me, it seems as though they moved from being on the periphery and being drawn into the story to having the story revolve around them and having the other characters become more peripheral. Without giving any spoilers, I will just say that the issues that they contend with in this novel are ones that are very prevalent today. And, if you ever happen to come across an old trunk in your attic, or at a yard sale, open it; you never know what life-changing surprises might await you!
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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