Read: Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

familytreeI got an e-copy of this book from the publishers for review (via Edelweiss).

The publisher says: “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.

My view

A fun read—I love reading about cooks and cooking—but also rather messy. The story jumps back and forth from the current time to the past quite a bit.  Quite early on in the story, because of what the stories in the past focus most on, it becomes clear what we can expect to happen in the current time. When this indeed happens, finally, it’s not much of a surprise, and it’s also more or less the end of the book. I had hoped to be able to read beyond what I was expecting to happen, but there wasn’t much more.

The main subject was whether you should follow your dreams to every price. How far do you go when you have a chance to fulfil your greatest dream but have to give up something else that is very important to you too? What do you do? This comes back a few times, but with Annie, the protagonist, it becomes a bit tedious. Still, this was an important and interesting topic: not fulfilling your dreams seems like such a shame, but fulfilling them while giving up other aspects of your life might be a bad choice as well.

So, it’s an interesting read, especially for the dilemmas that Annie and some of the other characters have to deal with. An easy-going story that concentrates a lot on family, love, and, of course, cooking.

 

Other books I read by Susan WiggsThe Apple Orchard

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About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at bookhelpline.com. In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

4 Responses to Read: Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

  1. BookerTalk says:

    Hm a case of a good idea but the author didnt have the command of plotting needed to bring off this kind of dual time narrative?

    • Judith says:

      I’ve read at least one other book by this author that didn’t have the problem. I have the feeling it was put together rather quickly or at least didn’t get the editorial attention that it needed.

  2. After reading your review, I actually want to read this book because of the cooking part. And for some reason, I just love the story set in Vermont because I have a friend who has an apple farm there.

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