Title: Family Tree
Series: Switchback, Vermont #1
Author: Susan Wiggs
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.
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The moment was made of something fragile and delicate, yet it possessed the power to last forever.
What if you had to start over? What if your life was taken away from you and you had no say in how it happened? Would you welcome a second chance at starting over?
All these questions are going through Annie Harlow, the heroine of the Family Tree.
From the outside looking in, Annie has it all. She's married to a famous and handsome chef, she's living in a wonderful home and she's doing a job she loves. She's the producer of a very successful cooking show starring her husband, Martin.
Annie has many loves. She loves her family especially her grandmother, she loves cooking and producing, she loves maple syrup and when she was a teenager she loved a boy named Fletcher Wyndham. Now, married to Martin she thought she had it all until she lost it all.
Annie is on the way to the set to deliver exciting news to Martin, when she's confronted with a terrible truth, not too soon after, she's involved in a terrible accident that leaves her in a coma for one year.
When Annie wakes up, she's not in Los Angeles anymore. She's back home, Switchback, Vermont. She's surrounded by her family. Her mother, her estranged father, her brother, and his family are all there to support her. But Annie will have to start from zero. Many memories are gone. She will need to learn to eat, speak, walk and live again. She might also have a chance at love again. Fletcher, now a judge, is also there for her.
"Smell the roses, blow out the candle."
I'd say Family Tree is a Woman's fiction novel more than a romance. It's about rediscovering yourself, rebuilding one's soul and fighting for what you want. The novel mixes the past and the present without making the reader overwhelmed by the two timelines. The narrative and the characters are well delineated. Annie is likable although she could be selfish at times, mostly with her father and Fletcher. Fletcher wasn't perfect either. He didn't fight for Annie as he should have but I guess, they both learn from their past mistakes.
I enjoyed reading Family Tree. I'm sure I will read another book by Mrs. Wiggs.