Reviews

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs

bookloverjulie's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

One of the biggest lies perpetuated by our society is that you should “never give up your dreams for a man.” I understand the sentiment, but I feel that it’s often misguided. My first issue is that our “dreams” are almost always tied up in our career aspirations. We place entirely too much importance on what we do for a living. At the end of the day, it’s just a job and you can always find another. It should not be your sole focus in life. Love is about sacrifice. You will each have to bend a little for one another. I think in actuality, it would be more helpful to advise young women to never give up their “happiness” for a man, and not to sacrifice for someone who is not equally willing to sacrifice for you. True love and connection are rare and it should not be thrown away because you are young or because you are living in different cities for a time. If it’s real, you will make it work. The MC’s struggled with this issue well into adulthood and it was clear to me that they would both have been happier if they would have sacrificed more to make it work. It bothered me that they took so long to realize this and that they were still yo-yo dating as full grown adults.

taisie22's review against another edition

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fast-paced

3.5

Annie Rush, producer for a successful cooking show, finds out she's pregnant, her husband is having an affair, and then gets hit in the head in a freak accident that puts her in a coma for a year. She wakes up to find herself back home in Vermont, not remembering much about her previous life. As memories gradually return to her, she regains her strength and starts a new life.
It's a charming story, very Hallmark in describing the Vermont countryside and life. The story goes back and forth between Annie's high school/college years and the present, sometimes from the POVs of her mother or her high school boyfriend, Fletcher. Some things took me out of the story occasionally: for example, Fletcher getting into Harvard Law School after taking college night courses, then becoming a lawyer and judge in what seemed to be about ten years, or Annie only being able to do a cooking show in LA, one that seemed high-budget for someone just out of college with no real experience. 
Mostly, I enjoyed the story, though the ending seemed a bit forced. Why couldn't Annie do a show from her kitchen, a local affiliate, or even Burlington or Boston? Why the drama of having to move to Los Angeles? It cheapened her romance with Fletcher, in my opinion, that she couldn't make compromises in the third or fourth time she left him behind. His career was not as flexible at this point, but meh. Anyway, 3 1/2 stars.

emadisonc's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful reflective relaxing medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.0

lilmorty82's review against another edition

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5.0

I grew up in VT, this book brought me amazing memories of home. The then and now style took getting used to but Annies' story had me turning pages. The images of food and cooking had me in the kitchen whipping up something from scratch.

jenmat1197's review against another edition

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3.0

This is the story of Annie and Fletcher. Two people who couldn't quite get the timing right for their relationship. They met when Fletcher moved to Annie's small town in Vermont. There was an immediate attraction, but family problems and life long dreams continually got in the way of them being together for more than a few months.

Annie's life long passion was cooking and having her own TV show. She grew up in Vermont on a family maple syrup farm - helping all winter long with making and bottling syrup for their company Sugar Rush. Fletcher and his dad move to town where his dad takes over a local mechanic's business. He is hired by Annie's older brother to work at the Maple farm, and he is quickly smitted with her. Annie has dreams of college and life beyond Switchback Vermont, but money and family obligations keep Fletcher there. They end their relationship when Fletcher's dad is in a horrible accident and Fletcher has no time for anything but keeping his dad's business together and helping his dad recover.

The book flows back and forth between Annie and Fletcher has teenagers and then into the near future when Annie is forced back to Switchback after spending years in LA. Her own accident has brought her back to the care of her family and back into Fletcher's life. As she recovers, she needs to decide if what she had in LA or what she has in Vermont is what she really wants.

This was an okay book. Here in Switzerland, the Christmas season is in full swing. So I have started watching cheesy Christmas movies from the Hallmark channel and Netflix - an annual tradition. This book reminds me of those movies. This book reminded me of those movies. A quaint little town brings girl back to where her roots were. A long lost love that is rekindled. A perfect life and perfect love and perfect everything is what this book is about. It is just as cheesy as the movies.

It is a quick read, and not solid work, but was kind of fun in its own right. I would not say to run out and read this one, but, if you have a few days as the snow starts to fall and you are looking for something light and mindless - this might hit the spot.

kbranfield's review

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4.0

4.5 stars.

Family Tree by Susan Wiggs is an emotionally compelling, poignant and humorous novel of healing and new beginnings.

Annie Rush has a career and husband she loves but in an instant, life as she knows it is gone. Following a tragic accident, she wakes up from a year long coma with gaps in her memory and a long road of physical and occupational therapy ahead of her. Returning to her family's maple syrup farm in Switchback, Vermont, Annie's recovery is arduous but with her family's support, she slowly adjusts to her new "normal".

While her memories of current events are elusive, Annie has no trouble recalling her first love, Fletcher Wyndham. Despite their love for one another, the timing was never quite right for them and they finally broke up for good when Fletcher married someone else after Annie moved to California. Fletcher is recently divorced and firmly entrenched in Switchback and once they realize their feelings have never waned, he and Annie rekindle their romance. When an unexpected opportunity comes her way, will Annie chose her career? Or will she follow her heart?

Annie fell in love with cooking at her beloved Gran's side and from a young age, she always knew what she wanted out of life. With single-minded determination, she set about making her dreams come true. While she might have wavered briefly after falling in love with Fletcher, they came up with a realistic plan to be together once Annie went off to college. Unfortunately, life threw some unexpected obstacles in their path and their relationship was unable to survive these difficulties.

Annie's career took her in very unanticipated direction and with Fletcher out of the picture, she fell in love with another man. Her marriage to Martin was both a professional and personal collaboration as they worked together on a successful television cooking show. Despite a few ups and downs, Annie is completely satisfied with her life with her husband right up until the day of her accident. Eager to share her good news with Martin, she discovers a devastating secret minutes before the accident that culminated in the year long coma. Now picking up the pieces of her shattered life, Annie revisits both the joy and heartbreak of her past as she comes to terms with her present.

Fletcher is a genuinely kind-hearted man but he is stubborn and puts everyone else's needs ahead of his own. His perseverance pays off and he finds an unexpected career path through misfortune. With neither he nor Annie willing to compromise, they went their separate ways but Fletcher has no regrets about the way his life turned out. But with Annie back in town, he is more than willing to their relationship another chance but Fletcher is not at all prepared when it appears history is going to repeat itself once again.

With chapters that alternate between past and present, Family Tree is a beautifully rendered novel that is poignant yet ultimately uplifting. The characters are multi-faceted with flaws and human frailties that are easy to relate to. The storyline is well-written and engaging with realistic problems and situations for the characters to overcome. Susan Wiggs easily transitions into women's fiction with this heartfelt novel of renewal and love.

pnelson384's review against another edition

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4.0

I enjoyed this book! I especially loved the advice from Gran and all the cooking references. It made me want to play in the kitchen!

melissaslibraryy's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful lighthearted sad fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0


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jennabuythebook's review against another edition

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4.0

3.5 stars. Light, fun fluff. Nothing groundbreaking but my brain can’t handle anything groundbreaking right now so this worked out just fine :)

marlo_c's review against another edition

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2.0

Boring. Predictable. I realized it fairly quickly going in, so I wound up skimming the book just to see if I was right. I was. All of the characters were beautiful, smart, and talented, and the descriptions of the sex (while not graphic and which I don't want to read about anyway) were just silly. Bleh. If this is the hallmark of a Susan Wiggs' book, I don't need to read another.