by Susan Wiggs
Why I chose this book? I liked the title
When I read this book? January 2018
Who should read this book? Fans of women’s fiction and contemporary romance
Source: TLC Book Tours
My Rating: ✰✰✰✰ 4 Stars
• Paperback: 400 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (January 9, 2018)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author comes a powerful, emotionally complex story of love, loss, the pain of the past—and the promise of the future.
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.
I like the cover on this book, but I was drawn to it because of the title. When I am not reading, I am usually working on my family history, so when I saw ‘Family Tree’ I was immediately interested. Once I read the synopsis, of course, I knew the story had nothing to do with genealogy, but was even more interested in reading the book!
As the story starts, Annie realizes there are minor issues in her marriage, but still believes she has a wonderful life with a wonderful husband and a great career. But that all ends quickly when there is an accident on the set of Annie’s show and she is seriously injured. One year later, Annie awakens from her coma to find she has been moved back to her hometown in Vermont for recovery. She must relearn even the most basic skills. And as she recovers, she learns everything she knew about her old life is no longer true—she is a new Annie.
The first half of the book tells the story of Annie’s physical recovery; how she learns to speak, to walk, etc. While I found her miraculous survival a little unrealistic, I did enjoy reading about her recovery at the rehab facility. As she regains her memories, we learn about her past; her high school boyfriend, how she met her husband, how her career developed, etc.
The rest of the book is the story about Annie’s life after recovery; how she comes to deal with her past and to move on. We get to know Annie’s family and her childhood friends. And we learn a lot about the production of maple syrup, which I found fascinating. Possibly my favorite character in the book is one we met only in Annie’s memories of the past, her grandmother who taught her to cook.
Overall I enjoyed the story, though the outcome was a little predictable. I also felt that the ending was a little rushed; that things were resolved just a little too easily. It was a quick read that someone with free time could easily finish in a day! With the descriptions of snowy Vermont scenes, the warmth of fires, and the scents of maple syrup, this would be a great choice for a lazy winter afternoon!
About Susan Wiggs
Susan Wiggs is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than fifty novels, including the beloved Lakeshore Chronicles series and her most recent novel, the instant New York Times bestseller Family Tree. Her award-winning books have been translated into two dozen languages. A native of a small town in upstate New York, she now lives with her husband at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather can commute to her writers’ group in a twenty-one-foot motorboat. A former teacher and graduate of the University of Texas and Harvard, Susan is also an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier, and a cautious mountain biker—yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book.
This book review is included in a tour by TLC Book Tours. I was provided a copy for review purposes.
Susan’s Tour Stops
Wednesday, January 10th: Tina Says…
Thursday, January 11th: Literary Quicksand
Friday, January 12th: Based on a True Story
Monday, January 15th: The Sketchy Reader
Monday, January 15th: A Chick Who Reads
Thursday, January 18th: Novel Gossip
Tuesday, January 23rd: As I turn the pages
Thursday, January 25th: Time 2 Read
Monday, January 29th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, February 13th: Rockin’ and Reviewing
Monday, February 19th: Run Wright
Tuesday, February 20th: I Wish I Lived in a Library
Monday, February 26th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Thursday, March 8th: Kritters Ramblings