Title: Family Tree
Author: Susan Wiggs
Genre: Woman’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Available: 28th July (UK)/9th Aug (US)
A heartwarming novel from the New York Times bestselling author. Perfect for fans of Love Letters and Summer at Willow Lake.
Annie Rush seems to have it all, a handsome husband and their fabulous life in Manhattan. But all of that is snatched away when she is involved is a life-changing accident. Awakening from a coma a year later, Annie finds that the life she knew has crumbled away.
In the throes of grief, Annie grasps her new reality – she has to start over from scratch, which means heading home. Annie couldn’t wait to escape the small town where she grew up, but now she finds herself warming to the close-knit community and its homespun values.
There’s also a face from the distant past − Donovan Lynch − and all the reasons she’s never quite forgotten him come flooding back. Annie expects to pull herself together and return to the city, but fate has other plans …
Source: ARC from HarperFiction UK via NetGalley
Before I talk about this book I have to comment on the blurb, because I have no idea what it’s on about. Annie and her husband lived in LA and the man from her past is called Fletcher. Other than that, it’s correct, but still, worth noting.
Anyway, that aside, this is a thoughtful, engaging read about one woman reclaiming her life after a terrible accident. It melds plenty of flashbacks with Annie’s present day life and is absolutely full of food. It’s about small towns, different types of love and how many chances it can take to get it all right.
I’m not normally a fan of flashbacks, but for the most part they worked well here. At least at first. This is because while Annie’s in rehab, going back to fill in the gaps actually made the story stronger for me. Later on, when more is happening in Annie’s life, I have to admit the flashbacks felt more like a distraction, but I did like the way we got to see things from Fletcher’s perspective as well as Annie’s. I also appreciated the reasons why they split in the first place. They’re both good people, dealing with difficult situations and somehow trying to get through it all.
However, I have to admit, things towards the end grew a bit too tangled and convoluted for me. I really didn’t like the way turned out with Annie’s ex, and felt the angst over certain things was rather contrived considering the answer was already right in front of them.
Overall, though, I really enjoyed this. Annie’s struggles are definitely not ones I come across too often in romantic fiction, while her and Fletcher’s long history is full of second chances and missed opportunities. If you’re looking for something comforting, a little emotional, a touch romantic and heart-warming, with strong characters and interesting dilemmas, then give this a try.
Family Tree is out July 28th (UK)/ August 9th (US)
Visit Susan Wiggs for more details.