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Twentyone Olive Trees the Book
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21 Olive Trees is Amazon #1 Best Seller!
21 Olive Trees is Amazon #1 Best Seller!

Illustrated by Marit Cooper

Audiobook Narrated by Courtney Patterson

“The end result is a tenderly philosophical study that offers hope and solace. An offbeat and uplifting contribution to the literature of grief.” – Kirkus Starred Review

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

“Twentyone Olive Trees is an impeccably crafted book. It will inspire and delight, and is salve for a wounded heart. On every page it whispers the message, “I love you.” – New York Journal of Books

“Laura Formentini has written a lovely book of life lessons through stories, poems, and vignettes of insight and wisdom and revelation. The ultimate result is reinventing life through conscious awareness of life’s daily miracles of healing transformation and liberation. I highly recommend it.” -Deepak Chopra

TWENTYONE OLIVE TREES is more than just a book. It is my personal journey of transformation portrayed as a collection of letters and poetry I wrote to my son Blaise, after his death. Before each of the letters, 21 fable narratives unfold, further illuminating this intimate look at coping with loss and acceptance that intrigues, inspires, and gives hope to readers looking for answers about life and death, and those who long to transform their grief into something beautiful.

I chose the title TWENTYONE OLIVE TREES because my son was 21 when he died, and and we will plant twenty-one olive trees in his honor at a healing sanctuary that I am currently creating. The olive tree is a symbol of many things, including longevity and peace, and the planting of them, and this book is my way of keeping my son’s story alive. The letters provide an insight into my shift from grief to understanding as I process the circumstances of my son’s untimely death.

Blaise was not only my soul mate, but my partner in crime on so many different adventures. I started writing these letters to him just about five weeks after his passing, which happened in the Western United States while I was abroad collecting stories of hope and transformation in Ethiopia, in early August 2019. He had a brief, yet very intense life here on earth. We lived together on two different continents, traveled seemingly everywhere around the world together, often to the most remote and unusual areas (such as Lappland in Northern Finland). All the while we had amazing and profound conversations, ate the craziest foods and exchanged as much laughter and eccentricities as we did confrontations.

“Inspiring and transformational……Twentyone Olive Trees illustrates the emotional journey of a mother’s heart from deep grief to soulful healing offering a powerful and insightful perspective of mindfulness and new beginnings. Experiencing the loss of a child at any age, forever alters a parent’s life. Beautifully and creatively illustrated and written, Laura’s fables and poems entwine unique heartfelt lessons of love and reflective truths providing hope when it seems all is lost. A must read for grieving hearts….”

Daphne Bach Greer
Author of Barely Breathing: Ten Secrets to Surviving Loss of Your Child and blogger at The Sweeter Side of Grief.

“Laura’s book is a beautiful, healing keepsake, and a lovely testament to the power of a mother’s love, her own sweet son, and the fact that love, and energy, never die.”

Tanya Carroll Richardson
Author of Forever in My Heart: A Grief Journal

“Twentyone Olive Trees is a tender invitation to fully embrace life and it’s mysteries. Through fables and personal reflection, Laura Formentini integrates grief with unfaltering love. Amidst longing for her son, Laura gently reminds us we are always in connection to those we love and even through loss we are capable of growth.”

Amie Lands
Author, Navigating The Unknown: An Immediate Guide When Experiencing The Loss Of Your Baby

“This is not your average book on grief and loss. Filled with hope and encouragement, Laura’s beautiful fables, poems, and letters to her son, accompanied by absolutely gorgeous full color illustrations, left me feeling encouraged and uplifted. There are so many books that are instructional in nature, or recounts of personal events, or even advice on what to do through your grief, but this is nothing like that. It’s an intriguing and uplifting book. I highly recommend it to anyone who is searching to heal after the loss of a child or loved one.”

Alexa Bigwarfe
Author, Sunshine After the Storm: A Survival Guide for the Grieving Mother

“Truly, 21 Olive Trees is a beautiful expression of a mother’s aching love and will resonate with those who have experienced grief.”

Mea Smith
Author, Grief Like a River: Poems and Illustrations

“Turning the love that grief leaves behind into a piece of beauty that lifts up others, Laura Formeninti shares the life lessons that loving and losing her son has taught her in 21 Olive Trees. These tender and touching fables offer a message of hope to the grieving – that love never dies.”

Lindsey M. Henke, MSW, LICSW
Founder of Pregnancy After Loss Support

“The thread that runs through Twentyone Olive Trees is her eternal love for her son. As a grief counselor to parents who lose babies, I have witnessed countless times how the pain of the loss continues to transform over time and how much solace parents find when they eventually create an “intuitive bridge” between themselves and their child, as the author did. The poignant poems beautifully express the varied experiences of bereaved parents, and the beautifully illustrated fables will teach children and adults alike important lessons in coping with grief and moving toward hope, acceptance and growth. The author’s wish to “lift up as many people as possible” will most certainly be realized as they use their own inner wisdom and imagination to connect with their child after death.”

Pascale Vermont, PhD
Author of Surviving the Unimaginable: Stories of Coping with Pregnancy and Infancy Loss

“Twentyone Olive Trees by Laura Formentini truly captured my heart. As a mom who has battled grief with the loss of my own son, I found Laura’s poems to bring comfort and understanding – and her stories to bring a sense of calmness and connection. Fiction stories are such a wonderful way to offer healing – bringing the reader on a journey to safely feel emotions and offer growth along the way. 21 Olive Trees gives you this experience in such a beautiful way. I highly recommend!”

Lindsay Gibson
Author of Just Be: How My Stillborn Son Taught Me to Surrender


Voices of Transformation: The Trilogy
Part One: Coming Home

Glow: “Coming Home”, recounts my journey of self-discovery throughout the African continent and how I learned to transform my suffering into highly positive vibes through the practice of Love in Action. After years of struggle and lack of self-direction, I reached a point where I knew that I had to let go of my old self, heal myself, become a blank page for life to write on, and to connect with the world on a larger wavelength––the wavelength of compassion and love.

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Voices of Transformation: The Trilogy
Part Two: Sponsored

Glow: “Sponsored”, tells heartfelt stories that speak to the positive impact of sponsorship and highlights expected and unexpected ways the experience has enriched the lives of everyone involved, including my own. Sponsorship is much more than a beautiful way to make a difference. It also teaches us that our differences aren’t that great. The more I work with different people in different countries all over the world, I realize just how similar we really are. We all need the same stuff––nourishing food to eat, a safe place to live, education, health, and the ability to pursue our unique strengths and talents. And it was this simple discovery that caused me to expand my sponsorship to more and more countries.

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Voices of Transformation: The Trilogy
Part Three: Sanctuary

Sanctuary profiles animal rescue projects from around the world, including Costa Rica, Morocco and Puerto Rico. Although I had originally begun my own animal sanctuary project following the “How to start and run an animal sanctuary” workshop I took at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah in 2014, life unexpectedly led me to explore how others have managed to operate their rescues instead. This is also a photographic journey since capturing moments in this way is particularly valuable to my personal artistic inquiry.

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