Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs is on the blog today with her new contemporary women’s fiction title, full of family drama, history and a touch of new love.

Family Tree

Told in a series of flashbacks and dream-like sequences, the story of Annie Harlow is one rife with choices of one thing over another, and resulted in a large bag full of what if’s.  Waking from a year in a coma after an accident, Annie realizes that she’s no longer pregnant, married or has a show. Her husband had been having an affair, and when she was injured, he moved up and on with his life, ignoring her.

She’s back in Switchback Vermont, where she grew up and learned her love of cooking from her grandmother.  The little town she grew up in is loaded with memories, good and bad, and plenty of choices made that weren’t always the best.  Looking back on those choices, where she has been, and how other influences set her on paths to left and right. What she has now is new options: a chance to reconnect with her first love, and perhaps even a chance at discovering the answers to the what-ifs that creep in to everyone’s life.

I was expecting a simpler and lighter story, full of the newly gained second chances coming to Annie.  When you add in the return to her hometown where everyone knew the child she was, the coming home is tempered by the memories, reflections on choices and a truly emotionally vulnerable Annie, with a chance to form her life in ways she desires. There is a certain heaviness to the overall tone that I didn’t see coming in a story that essentially boils down to a second chance at all of the decisions made years ago, to get a different result.

A perfect choice for a book club read: many eyes and experiences on the story will heighten the insights into the story, provide alternative reasons for choices and even a chance at shared commiseration at the low points.  An intriguing introduction to Susan Wiggs writing, I was tearing through the pages as I hoped for her happy ending.

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

Title: Family Tree
Author: Susan Wiggs
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Romantic Elements
Published by: William Morrow
ISBN: 0062425439
Published on: 9 August, 2016
Format:ARC
Source: Publisher via Avon Addicts
Pages: 368
Audio Length: 12 Hours: 18 minutes
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameHalf a Flame

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For readers of Kristin Hannah and Jodi Picoult 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 Manhattan 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 year-long 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 ex-cop. 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.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via Avon Addicts for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Susan Wiggs

Susan Wiggs life is all about family, friends…and fiction. She lives at the water’s edge on an island in Puget Sound, and in good weather, she commutes to her writers’ group in a 21-foot motorboat. She’s been featured in the national media, including NPR and USA Today, has given programs for the US Embassies in Buenos Aires and Montevideo, and is a popular speaker locally, nationally, internationally, and on the high seas.

From the very start, her writings have illuminated the everyday dramas of ordinary people. Her books celebrate the power of love, the timeless bonds of family and the fascinating nuances of human nature. Today, she is an international best-selling, award-winning author, with millions of copies of her books in print in numerous countries and languages. According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with “refreshingly honest emotion,” and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is “one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book.” Booklist characterizes her books as “real and true and unforgettable.”

Her novels have appeared in the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List, and have captured readers’ hearts around the globe. She is a three-time winner of the RITA Award, the highest honor given for a work of romantic fiction. Her recent novel, The Apple Orchard, is currently being made into a film.

 The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book.

 

Reading this book contributed to these challenges: