I wrote Olive Branches Don’t Grow On Trees after a failed attempt at making peace in my own family.  I had so much sadness in me over what my family had become and desperately needed a way in which to deal with this sadness. Writing this book was not only cathartic and therapeutic, but it gave me an opportunity to vicariously experience Silvia’s successful peacemaking endeavor in her family. I also had an opportunity to learn about peacemaking by writing about this subject. There are important lessons in this dysfunctional family story about forgiveness, having understanding for and getting along with all types of people, especially those whom are different than yourself.

When Silvia needs to convince Cosmo to forgive Frank, she tells him about a lesson she learned from their Grandma Tucci when Silvia, herself, was unable to forgive Donna. The wise old woman told her granddaughter to remember something kind that her mother had done for her and that remembering this deed of kindness would help to alleviate her anger towards her mother. When Silvia needs to convince Vince to get along with their brother-in-law Doug, she warns him that getting along with such people with whom he doesn’t share the same values is necessary if he ever hopes to get through to such people.

Readers can take these lessons with them and use in order to increase the amount of peace in their own lives. Perhaps there is someone in your own life who you can’t forgive and rather than stewing about how this person has wronged you, you can start focusing on a past act of kindness that this person has performed. Instead of isolating from those with whom you have different values, try interacting with them. Although such actions may not feel comfortable at first, they are sure to increase the peace and well-being in your life.