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Reviews

Read what others are saying about Twentyone Olive Trees!

“… a tenderly philosophical study that offers hope and solace.” – Kirkus, starred review

“This moving collection is a testament to the power of storytelling—and to a mother’s love.” – BookLife

Author Laura Formentini places before the reading public her responses to the loss of her empath son, Blaise, through drug addiction and suicide. As she states, ‘Empaths are known for absorbing energy from people and places, the good and the bad, and to not be able to distinguish where there own emotions end and the other person’s begin…[Blaise] left before realizing that his empathy was a gift. Empathy can heal. Empathy can bring about the changes our society is so strongly I need of.’

This book is treasure chest of thoughts, poems, little stories from a mother honoring the loss – and healing – that bring to all of us insights and support. ‘Laura achieved her own healing transformation through creatively writing the morals and wisdom she gained in the twenty-one years with her son. The fables, accompanied by beautiful illustrations, have a playful, childlike way of helping the reader cope with loss and embrace acceptance and healing.’

The warm support Laura offers is sampled in the closing passages – ‘Emotion can sometimes overwhelm us, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Getting in touch with our deepest feelings is an encouraging way of understanding ourselves better and of realizing that no matter what happens, we are always safe…Spreading love and peace and hope is part of the healing process, and we all know that where there is love, there is also life, but also know that where there is love, there cannot be any fear.’ Words of wisdom from an eloquent author.

– Grady Harp, April 22

Twentyone Olive Trees: A mother’s walk through the grief of suicide to hope and healing by Laura Formentini is a series of short stories and poems that the author wrote following the suicide of her son to help others experiencing similar grief reach the same solace that she herself managed. Each chapter starts with a poem, and an olive tree illustration to honor her son—I found the illustrations beautiful too—and then a short story. The stories are whimsical and soft, the author describes them as “child-like”, and themes of acceptance and reconnection can definitely be found throughout them. I think that the tone of the stories is appropriate for those maybe experiencing grief and loss, as they felt very empathetic and calming to read.
Even those who aren’t having that kind of experience now, or have already found their peace can enjoy the stories and illustrations. You can also find themes of worrying about things outside of our control, and enjoying the moment as well. The book is very thoughtfully written and put together.

– Ashley, April 14

The loss of a loved one is a tragic event that no one can ever completely recover from. In Twentyone Olive Trees: A Mother’s Walk Through the Grief of Suicide to Hope and Healing, author Laura Formentini details her method of coping through short stories and poetry.
Faced with beautiful illustrations, the book is divided into stories that highlight aspects of the author’s life with her son, and provide a deeper truth that leads to healing and understanding.
As a mother of two sons myself, I found the book to be incredibly poignant yet inspiring and at times I could feel the palpable grief of the author coming through the pages.
A beautiful book for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one in any form, Twentyone Olive Trees is a beautiful tribute to grief and life, and how one can walk through even the darkest moments to healing and light.

– Martha Custis, April 11

This book open my eyes, and I’m not saying it because I realize something, this book help me appreciate everything we take for granted, no matter the age or gender, this is a problem that can affect anyone and to deal with it in silence is not the right way to do it, there are movements and people available to help you out if anything happens, but the awareness is just not enough.
I will admire the author’s passion and love to write this book, how such beautiful words can fill your heart, it’s meaning reaching your emotion and let it all out, no parent should ever experience this, there are no words, no comfort, no rest, no way to express this loss, and yet, hope is within us, because this book is here for you and it did help me, so these words should never wore out but read this, and remember you’re not alone.

– Julius Z, April 25

– Raewyn S., January 12

“Twentyone Olive Trees” is an insightful, relatable and witty read that provided me with useful tools and tactics which are very easy to implement to manage inner emotions.
Without any hesitation, this book made me feel better in the first few pages since it showed me how to process things.
This is an excellent book and a very important subject matter to shed light on! As regards the book in general, I can say that it contains a great narrative and excellent descriptions. It’s also very easy to read and well developed, which is, in my opinion, always a plus. I love every poem included in its pages, as well as its interesting fables.
It’s a transformational book that has no waste. For me it’s five stars indeed.

– Evelyn, April 15

Laura Formentini is the wonderful author of this piece of literature. She has been able to assemble a sweet and touchy book loaded with letters, poems and fables she has written as a way of healing and coping with grief after losing her son by suicide.
I really liked this book’s format, it has an easy-going and relaxing tone, though we know she has written this collection while in pain.
I must confess, though, that its words might trigger strong emotions, like crying, which can have therapeutic letting-off-steam benefits for readers who may be in a similar situation as Formentini when she put pen to paper.

– Sol Tyler, April 14 

Twentyone Olive Trees: A mother’s walk through the grief of suicide to hope and healing, is a very useful book for people who is going through grief. Even for those people who aren’t going through grief but who have friends going through it. Sometimes, we just don’t know how to relate to people, seeing it in the perspective of a grieving parent is very moving. The poems and the letters, while I was reading them made me miss my grandfathers who have passed. It is a great book for healing and knowing that whatever grief you are going through right now, there is a reason and you will be okay.

– George, April 13

This is a gorgeous book with an unusual combination of poems, fables, and illustrations. It offers cleansing tears and hopeful inspiration. The courage and love of the mother and the spirit of the beautiful boy are absorbed as one reads. Transformational.

– G. Weed, April 8

I really loved the combination of poetry, illustrations and playful fables in Twentyone Olive trees. The moral arcs of the fables resonate as the lessons and wisdom shared between mother and child that transcend death.

My favorite fable is The Star Boat and the Three Lost Men, with the theme of compassion. In this fable, Laura writes that “often fate gives the gift of despair to the people who shine the brightest. For, without it, they would never be truly called to do the work the universe has given them to do”. This book is Laura’s gift to the universe and grievers – “Because I have been wounded myself, I knew what it felt like, and I decided to help heal the wounds of others” ~ Laura Formentini, Twentyone Olive Trees

– Jamala Murray, January 11 

This book is so beautiful in it’s words and it’s imagery. Having lost a good friend to suicide I hadn’t realized how much healing was left unresolved. This beautiful book gave me the courage to face what I’d left buried. I appreciate the love that exudes every page. I cannot relate to the loss of a child and yet the author provides beautiful stories to help carry grieves from all aspects. Thank you for putting your stories on the page Laura.

– Sharissa, January 11

Mood: emotional, reflective, sad, hopeful
Rating: unrated – personally I don’t find it easy to rate works like this but the @goodreads average is 4⭐️

#readandsiprecommends to read if you:
• love books of poetry accompanied by visuals
• are experiencing – or know someone who is experiencing – a traumatic loss and seeking to heal and transform
• are a fan of Deepak Chopra

Review: Twentyone Olive Trees explores Formentini’s healing following the loss of her son Blaise – her soul mate and partner in crime. It’s deeply emotional and powerful, filled with 21 letters to him and beautiful fables and poems she wrote.

As you read each you are moving along the journey to healing with Formentini. I love the unique writing style and various formats she uses to explore grief and loss, plus the addition of some imagery in between the pages makes this a true work of art.

If you or someone you know is experiencing loss of any kind, this book may be a helpful tool on the path to healing.

-Tori Nystrom, January 27

“…Twentyone Olive Trees is a moving, poignant and inspiring memoir courtesy of the author Laura Formentini who throughout her book narrates the story of her grief and healing after the death of her son by suicide. What the reader will read is eye-opening as well as incredibly moving and shows you that you can heal and transform even after a traumatic loss…”

Twentyone Olive Trees, Laura Formentini

-Aimee, Red Headed Book Lover, June 30