Family Tree

Author: Susan Wiggs

Publisher: William Morrow

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon

Type: Novel 

Provided by Publisher

 

Blurb: Sometimes the greatest dream starts with the smallest element. A single cell, joining with another. And then dividing. And just like that, the world changes.

Annie Harlow knows how lucky she is. The producer of a popular television cooking show, she loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. And now, she’s pregnant with their first child. But in an instant, her life is shattered. And when Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost.

Grieving and wounded, Annie retreats to her old family home in Switchback, Vermont, a maple farm generations old. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, Annie slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago: the town where she grew up, the people she knew before, the high-school boyfriend turned judge. And with the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm.

Family Tree is the story of one woman’s triumph over betrayal, and how she eventually comes to terms with her past. It is the story of joys unrealized and opportunities regained. Complex, clear-eyed and big-hearted, funny, sad, and wise, it is a novel to cherish and to remember.

 

Review: What a great novel! This story, bittersweet at times, chronicles the return of a woman to her past, one step at a time. It was unexpected and extremely moving and I found myself cheering for the characters at the end. It was truly a great experience.

Annie is the central character, and at the beginning of the book, she’s blindsided by some devastating news. What should have been a joyous time in her life…gone in an instant. Her injury takes the story down a completely different path and seriously changes it from what you thought it would be to something new. Initially, I was taken aback by the shift, but as she slowly recovered, I could see the way ahead for her. Her emerging memories made her sort of reevaluate them as she went along, and it was engaging to watch it happen. It’s something we all face at some point–what would have been different about my life if I’d made a different choice at the pivotal times in my life. Chosen another college? Dated another man? Would I even be living in the same place?

I really like how Susan Wiggs leaves a lot to the imagination, but still gives you enough information to feel included in the heroine’s conversion to a new life. You learn about past relationships at the perfect time to see how the new choice she’s making is better for the “person” she is now. There’s very little second guessing about her past, the life she chose then, and whether it was the wrong one. There’s no time wasted on that. It’s like real life–I don’t regret the choices I made to get here, but it doesn’t mean I look back at them all with fondness!

This was unexpectedly charming and intimate, and I love how the story ends! Thanks

 

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