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.
How was this my first Susan Wiggs book?! No seriously, she’s written more than fifty novels so the fact that I haven’t read any of her books before is blowing my mind. Family Tree had everything I look for in women’s fiction; a wonderful lead character who you can root for, a story that weaves between the past and present, some mouth watering descriptions of food and a cozy setting in the forests of Vermont. What more could you want?! A dash of romance maybe? No worries, there’s that as well and it’s not the cliched, overdone type of love story, it’s raw and extremely true to life. Can you tell yet that I really liked this book?
When Annie wakes up after being in a coma for a year there are some huge gaps in her memory and she has a long road to recovery. I adored her, she was upbeat and positive but also sarcastic and snarky which is exactly how I would expect someone in her shoes to behave. This is split pretty equally between Annie’s life as a teenager and in the present and I liked both timelines equally. I was totally invested in Annie and couldn’t wait to see what choices she made and how she moved forward and began anew.
This would be a great choice for a book club, the discussion possibilities are endless. I would start with the food but that’s just me. All joking aside there is a strong emotional component to this book that raises many questions about family, love, loss, life and chasing dreams. This was a really easy book to escape into and one that made me a new fan of Wiggs.
Family Tree in three words: Emotive, Delicious, and Genuine.
Overall rating: 4/5
Thanks to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for my review copy.
Life at Six Knots Photography
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 waters 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.