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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. 

368 pages, Hardcover

First published July 28, 2016

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About the author

Susan Wiggs

198 books6,284 followers
Susan Wiggs's life is all about family, friends...and fiction. She lives at the water's edge on an island in Puget Sound, and she commutes to her writers' group in a 17-foot motorboat. She serves as author liaison for Field's End, a literary community on Bainbridge Island, Washington, bringing inspiration and instruction from the world's top authors to her seaside community. (See www.fieldsend.org) She's been featured in the national media, including NPR's "Talk of the Nation," and is a popular speaker locally and nationally.

According to Publishers Weekly, Wiggs writes with "refreshingly honest emotion," and the Salem Statesman Journal adds that she is "one of our best observers of stories of the heart [who] knows how to capture emotion on virtually every page of every book." Booklist characterizes her books as "real and true and unforgettable." She is the recipient of three RITA (sm) awards and four starred reviews from Publishers Weekly for her books. The Winter Lodge and Passing Through Paradise have appeared on PW’s annual "Best Of" lists. Several of her books have been listed as top Booksense picks and optioned as feature films. Her novels have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have made national bestseller lists, including the USA Today, Washington Post and New York Times lists.

The author is a former teacher, a Harvard graduate, an avid hiker, an amateur photographer, a good skier and terrible golfer, yet her favorite form of exercise is curling up with a good book. Readers can learn more on the web at www.susanwiggs.com and on her lively blog at www.susanwiggs.wordpress.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,232 reviews
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,571 followers
July 30, 2016
3.5 stars

This is a thought provoking story of one woman's journey to reclaim her dreams, her heart, and her life. It's more women's fiction than contemporary romance or chick-lit, but the romance is there and it's sweet. I enjoyed getting to know Annie and Fletcher and the rest of Switchback, Vermont's residents, but I have to admit that I had a problem with Annie who I found rather selfish in the relationship department. I get needing to focus on your career but too often, it seemed, Fletcher played second fiddle to Annie's. One last thing; this isn't a light read. It's actually quite emotional, and even a bit depressing at times, though understandably so. However, there is also humor, poignancy, and so much foodie talk that all I could think about was snacking!

Overall, Family Tree is compelling and entertaining, and I'm looking forward to reading more by Susan Wiggs.

An ARC was provided by William Morrow publishing. In appreciation I'm giving them an honest review.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
3,080 reviews28 followers
August 20, 2016
This was a good story. Just a bit predictable, but that realization took quite a while to come to fruition. I have to admit I am getting a bit weary of stories that go from now to then and back again. This seems to be the new norm in fiction these days. Susan Wiggs writes a compelling story and kept me wanting to come back and read more. That is my favorite kind of book.
Profile Image for DJ Sakata.
3,010 reviews1,736 followers
February 13, 2018
Favorite Quotes:

It was one of those moments Gran used to call a key moment. Time didn’t simply tick past, unremarked, unnoticed. No, this was the kind of moment that made everything stop. You separated it from every other one, pressing the feeling to your heart, like a dried flower slipped between the pages of a beloved book. The moment was made of something fragile and delicate, yet it possessed the power to last forever.

Memories are strange things, aren’t they? You can’t touch them and hold them in your hands, but they have incredible power.

That’s the moment when everything changes. There’s before, and then after. And once a key moment occurs, there’s no going back to before. You make a choice, and it’s like ringing a bell. You can’t unring it. A key moment is a feeling. Your heart tells you. The point is, you have to pay attention.

That was how love worked sometimes… It filled every nook and cranny of your heart, and then one day you realized it had gone away. She wondered where those feelings went. Maybe they trickled into the atmosphere to be inhaled by someone else, a stranger who suddenly saw someone across the room and instantly fell I love.


My Review:

This was my first experience enjoying Ms. Wigg’s amusing and dynamic storytelling and I immediately became an instant and ravenous fan. I adored her quirky characters, clever humor, and insightful narrative. Her storylines were poignant, entertaining, heart squeezing, intriguing, and thoughtfully written. The descriptive detail of her food preparations played havoc with my diet plan, ultimately causing me to run to the farmers market for my own fresh ingredients from her spark of culinary creativity. Her skillful wordcraft was a delight for all the senses and I doubt I could ever tire of feasting on her works.
Profile Image for Claire.
2,303 reviews704 followers
July 28, 2016
5 - "There's before, and then after." Stars!

Family Tree is the first book I have read by Susan Wiggs, it deals with the story of Annie Rush and in a really entertaining way.



Told in the main from Annie’s POV, the story gives you her life pretty much from teen to present day, but sort of in a then & now time-frame, basically because the story pretty much begins with Annie making two shocking discoveries, one good and one bad, but then before being able to act on either, she is involved in an accident that leaves her in a coma for a year.

Upon waking, she literally has to relearn how to function, and things that we as adults take for granted, like walking, writing and just being generally independent take a long time to become everyday normalcy for her again.

"It’s time to let go of the person you were. Try to recognize the new person emerging from all this."

In flashbacks you learn of how Annie’s life had come to be at the point of her accident, how her family shaped her and how the adventures she went on while studying, turned into opportunities beyond her wildest dreams, opportunities that take her far, far away from her hometown of Switchback, Vermont. So it is a little disconcerting to discover when she wakes that is exactly where she has returned to.

This is one of those all-enveloping books that draws you in, there is so much that goes on over the course of Annie’s story, it would be silly to try and cover it all in a review, but you get a whole heap of family, plenty of love, romance and heart break, and the journey of a woman trying to come to terms with her new reality after a life altering injury, and the repercussions of it.

"Timing was never our strong suit."

Annie’s story where Fletcher Wyndham is involved just had me rooting for the pair of them, even when every time they seemed to be getting it together, life in general, or a twist of fate pulled them apart again, it made for riveting reading.

She fit against him like the missing piece to a puzzle he’d been trying for years to complete.

This won’t be my last book by this author, I cannot recommend Family tree highly enough, it was just an absolute joy to read.

ARC generously provided via Netgalley, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Profile Image for Julie .
3,977 reviews58.9k followers
July 26, 2016
The Family Tree by Susan Wiggs is a 2016 William Morrow publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

I love stories like this one!

Life is full of errors in judgement, missed opportunities, and the fateful events that upend all our carefully constructed plans. Yet, sometimes those mistakes, those diversions, and forks in the road can lead back to the path we originally started out on and we realize we are exactly where we should be, where we want to be, in the place we belonged all along, with the person we were meant to be with, like coming full circle. But, we must be able to recognize it, accept it, work for it, and make it happen, which can mean a lot of soul searching and compromise.


Annie Rush, from Switchback, Vermont knew what she wanted to do, and be, from a very young age. Her love for cooking comes from a close relationship to her Gran. She always knew her life’s work would evolve around food and cooking, in one way or another.

When her father, who was never keen on running a Maple syrup farm, leaves his family to embark on his own adventure, it has a profound effect on Annie. But, she has her mom, her brother, and her beloved Gran, and then she meets Fletcher, the new boy in town.


Fletcher works with Annie’s brother, and has somehow managed to achieve a ‘bad boy’ reputation that has Annie’s mother very concerned.

Although Annie wanted to stay in Switchback with Fletcher, she honors her mother's wishes to attend college, with Fletcher's blessing and encouragement, always intending to return.

However, fate, as we all know too well, can be fickle, and so decides to deal Annie and Fletcher a few cruel twists.

Now, years later…

Annie and her husband Martin have a wildly successful cooking show, and Annie has just discovered she is about to be a mom. But a horrific on-set accident will erase an entire year from Annie’s life. She wakes up to discover she is back home in Vermont, that the life she once knew is over, and she must start all over again, from scratch.

Will Annie make the same mistakes all over again? Will fate lighten up and allow the stars to align just right this time for Annie and Fletcher?

Some people feel as though this book would make a nice ‘book club’ read, and as I write this review, I would have to agree.


Every character exhibited selfishness as one point or another. Fletcher, and Annie made terrible mistakes, compounded by life’s curveballs, resulting in heartbreaking consequences.

Fletcher is somewhat immovable, stubborn, and tended to put others needs before Annie’s. Annie, was so distraught by what she had lost, she focused too hard on trying to get back some of what was stolen from her, once more putting her career in front of everything else, including Fletcher.

The secondary characters, were also instrumental in creating the circumstances that lead to Annie and Fletcher’s romance going off course, and Annie’s parents realize they made some grievous errors in their own marriage, that effected Annie and each other.

The events that unfold, as horrible as they seemed at the time, gave Annie and Fletcher one last chance to grab what fate, and poor choices, stole from them in the past. As with many of Susan Wiggs’ novels, I laughed, cried, got angry at the characters, yelled at them, then forgave them, gave them a group hug, and then I wiped away a happy tear knowing they all lived happily ever after.

These types of books are just like comfort food for me. Cooking, food, family, love and romance is always a great cure for whatever ails you. It’s the kind of story that leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy, content, and maybe even a little proud of the characters and all they learned and how well they turned out.

Overall, this is a wonderful story, sure to warm your heart.

4 stars
Profile Image for Kathryn in FL.
716 reviews
June 23, 2021
A Gentle Mind Cleanser, what parsley is to the palate...3.5 Stars

Annie Rush lives in a cozy rural area in Vermont, where her family has lived for more than 200 years running a Maple sugar operation. She is a gifted cook, learning from Granny Rush and fascinated by video production. She does her college thesis on a food truck vendors duck comfits and is immediately offered a contract to produce her own show. Amazing right? Yeah, so she had planned to co-star with this vendor, Martin but the talking heads decide she is better off behind the camera, even though we all think the world of this cutie, a young lady of great charm. Though she always loved Fletcher, she grabs her Hollywood dream and soon marries Martin.

Then, there is an interruption that Annie can't unsee! She runs away and injures herself leading to a coma, it is not expected for there to be a recovery. Defying the odds, she comes out of the coma a year later, to relearn all the basics. She is in a rehab, exercising daily to learn to walk, talk and use the bathroom. When she checks out, it is to her mother's home in Vermont. Martin is no where to be seen. However, Annie is a fighter and she manages to make a major comeback including reigniting with her high school sweetheart in the mix. If you want to talk karma, Annie's got tons.

This is a light-hearted, upbeat, against all odds story. Annie is very effervescent and deserving all that she has. Annie is very blessed for her committed family's support. This was very fluffy and the characters were very one dimensional. The style of writing has you in Annie's corner from the get go. Unfortunately the plot was pretty predictable. The dialogue pretty elementary, also. It delivered exactly what you expect and it ends with a pretty bow.

I listened to the audio book and I was unimpressed. A female does good female voices but the men all sounded like prepubescent boys. I would say that the narrator should realize that hushed low tones does not convey a male voice automatically. I kept laughing early on when men talked because they were not at all convincing, then I rolled with it. That along with the males all sounding basically the same, would suggest a happier reading experience versus listening. That may be to harsh, but I do wished I had read the book instead.
Profile Image for Amy.
1,799 reviews1,854 followers
January 18, 2018
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.
Profile Image for Sheyla ✎.
1,801 reviews457 followers
April 9, 2019


"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.

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Profile Image for Annie.
298 reviews49 followers
January 21, 2018
This book had a lot of items on my cozy list. A beautiful Vermont farmhouse setting; wonderful descriptions of food and cooking; a warm, loving and wise grandma, etc. I would say though that I wasn't riveted by the story. There were times when I was glad to get back to it and other times that I just wanted to be done with it.
Profile Image for İlkim.
1,373 reviews11 followers
April 12, 2019
Sevimli bir hikaye ama bir şeyler eksik. Karakterlerde mi sıkıntı var, tüm kurguda mı tam çıkaramadığım garip bir duygu yaşıyorum. Zaman geçirmelik, iç ısıtıcı bir öykü ama çok fazlasını beklememek gerek.
Profile Image for Kathryn.
1,439 reviews237 followers
August 16, 2016
4.5 stars.
It is always with a sense of delight that I pick up a new book by an author whose books I have always enjoyed. This one was like sinking down into a warm cozy bath on a cold day. It was almost everything I love in a good book.

Annie is a wonderful character, going for her dreams but finding that things haven't worked out quite the way she thought. Her partner and husband Martin just might not be the best thing going for her. When an unusual accident lands her in a coma in hospital his narcissistic self does what he does best, looks after Martin.

Annie's family are wonderful although not perfect. She has a Gran she idolised and loved - and although no longer alive she lives on in Annie. Annie's parents divorced when she was about ten years old and she has never quite gotten over her father walking out on his family. She sees her mother with a talent as an artist who has never fulfilled her dreams. She stayed back from going on to develop her abilities - choosing instead to care for her family. Yet when Annie is down it is family who stands by her.

Fletcher is a person who has put his roots down in Switchback. He and Annie go way back, have loved each other and parted. Annie's desire to spread her wings and follow her dreams have meant they have had to part. Now with Annie back in town there is a possible second chance.

As Annie recovers from injuries sustained in a freak accident she is determined and feisty. However she must start from scratch and discover who she is now and what she wants to do. It takes awhile but the journey just endeared her to me and I was delighted by all the steps she takes.

The only thing I didn't like about the book was the Now/Then part of the storytelling. I'd be immersed in the now, and then would be taken back into the past. Necessary but just something I don't particularly like. I prefer a linear story. But I guess I'd be in the minority and the telling of a story just might have needed it.

One of those books I just want to go on forever!
Profile Image for Michela De Bartolo.
163 reviews54 followers
March 30, 2018
Questo per me è un periodo un pò particolare, molto emotivo e pieno di avvenimenti inaspettati. Nonostante la lettura mi attirasse, faticavo a ingranare, perché la mia mente era da un’altra parte.
Poi: la magia. Mi ha completamente presa e immergendomi nella lettura ho eclissato tutto il resto.
Un elemento che mi colpisce sempre, in un libro, è l’ambientazione, talmente bella che sembra quasi irreale. La descrizione dei boschi, dei laghi e delle montagne è così minuziosa e reale che se chiudo gli occhi riesco a immaginare di essere lì. La storia si alterna tra capitoli al presente e al passato, prima e dopo l’incidente. Annie era felice in California, con il suo bellissimo marito Martin e il loro programma televisivo che parla della sua più grande passione, la cucina.Quando si risveglia, dopo un anno, non ricorda molto della sua vita.
Nel momento in cui ritorna nella fattoria dove è cresciuta, la sua mente comincia a lavorare per ricostruire tutti i pezzi del passato. Saranno ricordi dolorosi, quelli che riguardano la perdita del suo bambino, quelli in cui riaffiora la nonna, tristi, ma anche e soprattutto ricordi felici, quelli in cui c’è Fletcher, il suo primo grande amore. Un amore che purtroppo non ha visto un finale idilliaco , entrambi troppo presi dai propri sogni e dalle proprie famiglie .
Ed è proprio questo il fulcro della storia, più dell’amore tra Fletcher e Annie. Parole, ricordi e sciroppo d’acero è incentrato soprattutto sulla famiglia: i sacrifici, i litigi e le rinunce di qualsiasi componente, tutte in nome dell’amore per i propri cari; la felicità nel tornare a casa e rifugiarsi in un sorriso o in un abbraccio che può riscaldare anche l’animo più triste.. quAndo penso all’amore con la A maiuscola è a questo che penso alla Famiglia .

Profile Image for Judy Collins.
2,471 reviews347 followers
August 30, 2016
A special thank you to HarperCollins-William Morrow and Edelweiss for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Talented Susan Wiggs picks up with Annie Rush, from her prequel short story, The Key Ingredient, with FAMILY TREE —heartwarming and emotionally charged; Annie finds life does not always go as planned, and throws us some curve balls, when we least expect.

Gran was a special person in Annie’s life. She had always taught her to remember the love. When things got hard and you wonder why you got married in the first place- to recall the love.

Martin was a catch. He made her laugh. When they came up with ideas, they would work on it together with joy. He was her husband, her partner and an irreplaceable element in her life’s work. They had a TV cooking show. Martin was the chef, and Annie worked in production.

Annie loved talking about her Gran. She missed her every day but the remembrances kept her alive in Annie’s heart. Gram had published a vintage cookbook back in the sixties. Her name was Anastasia Carnaby Rush. Her grandfather called her Sugar in honor of the family maple syrup brand, Sugar Rush.

It was a regional best seller in Vermont and New England for years. Gram was a self-taught chef. Cooking was her love. Annie could picture her in the sunny farmhouse kitchen happily turning out meals for the family. She had a special way with food, and always said every recipe had a key ingredient.

“That’s the ingredient that defines the dish.”

Martin’s latest cookbook featured him looking delicious- the perfect combination of Wild West cowboy and Cordon Blue chef.

Her passion had been born in her grandmother’s kitchen when Annie was too young to read or write. Even before Martin, she was about food. She met him when he had a food cart in Manhattan. She was too busy to be in front of the camera.

Martin has a new sexy co-host side kick Melissa Barrett. Annie and Martin had been married eight years. The show had taken on a life of its own. The challenge was always staying exciting and relevant and on budget.

Everything was going well and she is pregnant with their first child. Time didn’t simply tick past, unremarked, unnoticed. This kind of moment that made everything stop. The moment was made of something fragile and delicate, yet it possessed the power to last forever.

She could not wait to tell Martin. She had to give him the message in person. A gift from the heart. He deserved a key moment of his own. She wanted to see his face when she delivered the magical words. A family.

However, she is shocked by a betrayal. Disbelief. Disappointment. Horror. Revulsion. An out of body experience. Is this how it will end? In the process of what she has seen, she trips over cable and then the entire structure came crashing down.

Her life is shattered. From then to now, Annie finds herself in a year- long coma. Grieving, Annie retreats to her family home in Switchback, Vermont. The maple farm. Her brother, mother, and four young nieces and nephews.

A world she left behind years ago. A high school boyfriend, Fletcher Wyndham. Her first love. She had lost her virginity in the sugar house, and a boy she thought would be hers’ forever. Fate got in the way. Separated by space, time, and circumstances.

Wiggs takes readers back to Annie’s life as a senior in high school, dizzy with possibilities. But life had a way of interfering with one’s plans. Things popped up unexpectedly, and suddenly a carefully plotted route had to be recalculated. Annie had always been a big believer in magic.

An entire year wiped out. Her mind unfurled and slipped backward, seeking something that felt more real and substantial than the world she’d woken up to. From the life she left, and the one forcing her to return.

Finding the key ingredient, acknowledging its source, and building a story around the dish was a simple enough concept, but the execution was complicated. There are gaps, but there are those who can help.

Sugar Rush goes gourmet. Annie finally finds a way to reconnect with her past and her old dreams. The key ingredient was simple – to go back to the original dream.

As Annie goes through her grandmother’s cookbook she felt her come alive and she too captures what she loved: the preproduction, recipe testing, shooting animating, and editing. From writer, producer, and star. The key ingredient to life lay beyond the kitchen.

Was she ready to take the next step- a fresh approach to life? Second chances. Starting from scratch. Beginning anew from carefully chosen ingredients.

As always, Wiggs weaves a magical story of the heart with nostalgic voices of the past and cozy comforting settings and yummy cuisine. From triumph over tragedy, love, loss, the pain of the past, first loves, and rediscovery. Makes you want to head for the lush New England autumn leaves, the cold brisk fresh air, and the apple cider.

If you have not read Susan Wiggs, you are missing out!

As I have mentioned before, I am waiting for a Hallmark TV series, based on her charming books. Her settings and characters come alive, with all the key ingredients for a satisfying series like Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Cove, and Sherryl Woods’ Chesapeake Shores.

I am ready for Susan Wiggs’ close knit community in Vermont surrounded by family and friends with lots of joys, struggles, life, love, food, romance, spectacular settings, and heartwarming characters- small or large screen. (Be sure and include hot and sexy, Jesse Metcalfe and the adorable golden retriever, Axle.)

Read More inspiration for Family Tree from Susan's Blog.

JDCMustReadBooks
Profile Image for Nirit.
229 reviews9 followers
October 9, 2019
ספר שהוא פשוט מסג' נעים ללב. שאבתי אותו במהירות שיא, והתבאסתי שנגמר כל כך מהר.
Profile Image for Susan Crowe.
805 reviews5 followers
July 13, 2016
I don't do netgalley or anything like that because I love the anticipation of that new book that I've waited forever for to pop up on my kindle on publication day. imagine my excitement when I found an ARC of this book in a used bookstore almost a month before it's publication day. I was and still am beyond excited.
This book is awesome too!
I laughed, cried, fussed, cussed. All of the things that happen when you read a great book.
Highly recommended!!
And I'll forever treasure my $4.50 ARC.
Profile Image for Svenja.
884 reviews52 followers
June 23, 2017
Abgebrochen nach 48%

Ich fand die Geschichte furchtbar langweilig.
Profile Image for Anna.
1,081 reviews88 followers
February 7, 2017
I received this in a Goodreads giveaway for an honest review. It is a wonderful story of love, family, second chances and finding the importance of "home".
Annie Harlow grew up in small town Vermont on a farm that produces maple syrup. From a very young age she was in love with cooking, schooled by her beloved Gran. Annie had big dreams, and found herself in L.A. just out of college producing a television cooking show. She marries the star of the show and believes she is happy. But all that came to a drastic halt following a terrible accident that leaves her in a coma for a year. When she awakens, Annie is back in Vermont, and must discover herself all over again. Told by alternating between the present and Annie's past, the story is a journey of healing and triumphs.
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 stars.
Profile Image for Victoria.
754 reviews9 followers
December 19, 2016
Obviously, I am becoming a curmudgeon. This book was enjoyable, feel good, happily ever after, good triumphs over evil, etc. And I found it irksome. The characters were so perfectly their characters that I didn't really give a whit about what happened to them, good or bad. Susan Wiggs has written many, many best-selling books so she obviously knows what she's doing but thank goodness the chapters were noted as "Then" or "Now" or I would've stumbled along trying to figure out where on the back-and-forth timeline we were at. A lot of research went into this novel--about cooking shows, recipes using local and seasonal food, coma-inducing injuries and possible outcomes, the maple syrup industry as well as some law and some whiskey distilling--but it was all really just decoration.
Profile Image for Idris Grey.
150 reviews37 followers
December 31, 2021
I just received an ARC of Susan Wiggs' "Family Tree" from William Morrow in exchanged for an honest review.

I love food and I love sweeping family drama so this seems right up my alley. Review to come.

Read Susan Wiggs's Family Tree if you love sweet stories about family, hardship, forgiveness and second third chances. It's got a lot of that. Emphasis on 'sweet.'
Profile Image for Noemí.
246 reviews13 followers
October 17, 2020
Este libro es una típica historia de vuelta al hogar. Parte de una potente premisa en que pone a la protagonista en una situación límite. Pese a eso, se pierde enseguida en largas divagaciones y sensaciones sobre el estado actual de la misma. Otras descripciones sobre la extracción y producción del sirope de arce también llegan a sacarte en algún momento de la lectura, aunque la ambientación en la zona rural de Vermont está bien lograda. Es original en el sentido en que la historia que cuenta entre los protagonistas tiene casi todo el peso en dos linias temporales pasadas, pero a la vez eso le quita casi todo el interés a la trama romántica del presente. Los protagonistas tienen gancho, pero para mi gusto les falta pasión (más emocional casi que física) en su relación. Ambos son demasiado racionales rozando la frialdad, o al menos yo así lo he sentido tal cómo lo ha contado la autora. Aún así, las relaciones familiares me han gustado, más que la trama romántica en sí. También la relación entre cine, comida y redes sociales con el paso del tiempo. Los secundarios tienen mucho potencial también, pero termino la lectura con la sensación de que todo queda demasiado difuminado y que me han faltado bastantes cosas.
Profile Image for Sibel Gandy.
898 reviews51 followers
May 9, 2019
3,5 / 5
Bizim bakkalda akçaağaç şurubu var mıdır acaba 😜
Profile Image for Marlene.
2,813 reviews192 followers
August 14, 2016
Originally published at Reading Reality


I read this yesterday in one gloriously delicious reading binge – which seems totally appropriate considering the amount of absolutely yummy cooking that occurs within the pages this book. I couldn’t put this one down because the story is excellent.

This is a story about starting over. Annie Rush is the fortunate or unfortunate recipient of the universe’s biggest do-over. After a tragic accident, Annie miraculously wakes up from a year-long coma to discover that whoever she was, she isn’t that person anymore. And that she’ll have to figure out how much of that person she used to be she either wants to, or even can, incorporate into the person she has become.

Robert Frost famously said that “home is the place that, when you go there, they have to take you in.” Annie goes home. Or to be more accurate, Annie gets shipped home, while she is still in that coma. Her husband, star of a Hollywood cooking show that Annie conceived and produced, cuts his losses and divorces her while she is so far out of it that the organ harvesting vultures are circling.

But Annie survives. And she wakes up, a bit like the patients in the Robin Williams’ movie Awakenings, to find out that the world has gone on without her. She has to run to catch up. But first she has to learn to run, and even to walk, again.

Even though she doesn’t yet remember the recent events of her life, her past in Switchback Vermont at her family’s maple sugaring farm Sugar Rush, her first love, and the love of cooking that she inherited from her Grandmother, are very much at the front of her mind.

But she has to figure out who she wants to be when she grows up all over again. And to do that, she has to remember everything that went into making her the person she had been before the accident. Even the betrayals.

In order to have the future she always wanted, Annie first has to deal with the past. She has a second chance, and this time she’s going to get it right. And hang on to it.

Escape Rating A: This book is a bit too big to read in one sitting, but I did read it in one afternoon/evening/night marathon. We all have things in our lives we would like to do over, and this is a marvelous story about second chances.

As Annie examines her old life, as the memories come back to her in bits, she is able to see what happened, where things went right, where they went wrong, where she drifted, and where she lost her way.

On the one hand, her ex was an absolute bastard for divorcing her while she was in a coma. On the other hand, the Annie who woke up was much, much better off without his lying, cheating ass. That part of Annie’s healing is to get her own back from this arsehole will make readers stand up and cheer. It’s always fun when a slimeball gets its just desserts.

But the real story is Annie’s building a new life by figuring out which parts of the old life were important, and which were just eddies in life’s current that she had drifted into by accident or mistake. She also wakes up with a much more realistic, if slightly cynical, view of the world and those who people her world. The new Annie feels more thoughtful, and more interesting, than the old Annie.

There’s a love story here as well. One of the big things that Annie gets to do over is a second chance with her first love. We see them in Annie’s memories, both very young, very much in love, but not certain of themselves or each other. They lose each other along the way, through a series of unfortunate accidents and absolutely terrible timing. Now they are both adults, and they have a bit better chance at figuring out what is really important and what can be worked around. And they still almost blow it again.

That they finally, finally don’t is what gives this story its beautiful happy ending.
Profile Image for Cindy.
2,387 reviews
January 14, 2017
Annie Harlow grew up on a sugar maple farm in Vermont, but she’s enjoying her new life in LA, married to a charming husband, working at her dream career, and at last, expecting her first baby. Then the world comes crashing down on her — quite literally. A piece of equipment falls on her head, causing TBI, traumatic brain injury. Annie wakes up in a hospital to find that everything has changed while she was asleep, including her. She’s back home in Vermont and now she has to rebuild her whole life.

I’m torn whether this one counts for the Read Diverse Books challenge. Annie might be a minority, but I’m not quite sure on that part. The author never makes it clear, just says that she’s “too ethnic” to be on camera (according to a network, not the author). But the TBI does cause some major soul searching on Annie’s part as she has to relearn how to talk, walk, and survive on her own.

My problem is that the brain injury is treated so lightly. Yes, she is in a coma for an entire year. But so what? Does her family have a financial crisis because of this? Do they have to take out a second mortgage? Are creditors hounding them for payment? No. Is her family feeling the terrible strain of having to oversee her care while living their regular lives? Are they fighting over what should happen next? Are they exhausted from being at the hospital night and day? No.

And how about Annie? Does she suffer any lingering mental or physical handicap from her – let me emphasize here – TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY? No, not really. She’s even DRIVING a couple of weeks after going home. Seriously? Is she disfigured, scarred? Her muscles are atrophied, which I would expect, but the more serious problem is – wait for it – HER MANICURE IS RUINED!

OK, I know that TBI is a real thing. But this is not anything like realistic. It’s the absolute opposite, in fact. And given that, it really didn’t matter to me that the descriptions of Vermont read like a travel brochure, or that all the cooking in here made me crave maple syrup. I just couldn’t get past the ridiculous plot. I kept skipping all the flashbacks to see what happened right now, but Annie never had to deal with anything like what the real consequences would be.

I am NOT recommending this one. It has good reviews, but I just can’t bother with a book or an author who doesn’t do more research.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Liz.
81 reviews21 followers
October 8, 2018

After an accident leaves Annie in a coma for a year, she wakes up to find many changes in her life.
It’s one of those stories that goes back in time to then & now as we learn more about the characters. Fletcher was a big part of her life & her grandmother.

When her grandmother is on her last days, Annie receives this advice from her:
“...I had a key moment. Do you know what that is? [...] that’s the moment when everything changes. There’s before, and then after. And once a key moment occurs, there’s no going back to before. You make a choice and it’s like ringing a bell. You can’t unring it. A key moment is a feeling. Your heart tells you. The point is you have to pay attention.”
Profile Image for Marleen.
1,721 reviews95 followers
March 14, 2017
This book was a treat! It has been too long since author Susan Wiggs was able to utterly charm me with one of her books. I truly loved the backdrop of Vermont; it was so evocative and as a reader, you couldn't miss being transported in the lovely scenery of farmhouses, foliage, mountains and snow. The process of traditional maple syrup harvesting was rather interesting too. I liked how the maple syrup was the Rush family business since generations. A book set in New England will always catch my attention, and I'm glad I got around to this one.
Even more compelling was the main character : Annie Rush. Now there’s a young woman after my own heart. I enjoyed her even better when she came out of her one-year coma. How she was more direct. I appreciated the wit and the humor behind that directness.
I’ve read many books about second chances and many were bland and cookie-cutter-like. Not FAMILY TREE, which came across as totally original and fresh.
Of course it’s still an idealized and light read, but it held little gems of truth about roots, family, and food, and appreciating life.
****4,5****
Profile Image for Leah.
1,804 reviews
March 13, 2019
This book didn't deliver the story that was advertised. I still didn't like the story, though. It didn't help that I didn't like the characters. I did like the setting of rural Vermont. It makes me want to go there for vacation. I also liked the food in this story. It's made me hungry. At least, there was a happy ending.
Profile Image for Denise.
756 reviews70 followers
October 22, 2016
The Family a Tree by Susan is an entertaining, predictable read. The author, using numerous flashbacks fully developed the main charters for the reader. The characters were likeable and real. Nice read, especially if you like pure maple syrup.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,677 reviews920 followers
December 20, 2021
Not a bad book, just really boring. I really wish that something (anything) had happened. You would think with the plot that this be a great book to sink your teeth into. I just think that the book didn't know really what to do with the characters of Annie and Fletcher after a while. The then parts of the book just dragged everything down. I also didn't get the best love story of all time from it. The other romance in the story just comes out of nowhere and feels 100 percent unbelievable.

"Family Tree" follows Annie Harlow. She's a producer on her husband's hit tv show and she is happy that it looks like they may finally be expanding their family. Until she walks in and sees something she wishes she had not. And then an accident occurs which leaves Annie's life up in the air. When she wakes up, Annie realizes how much she has lost and tries to go on from there.

Annie, I don't know. I expected more rage honestly. No lie, but she seemed so passive throughout this entire book. I didn't get it myself.

Fletcher...eh. I don't know. I really don't get what I was supposed to feel about their past. Wiggs doing the then and now in the book just dragged things down for me. I started to skim the then sections of the book after a while. Annie and Fletcher in the past were not that interesting.

The other characters have things going on and have story-lines for somethings not quite wrapped up. Like Annie's brother wanting to grow marijuana and his wife not being for it. It gets mentioned a few times and there's tension and it just fizzles out. The storyline of Annie's parents did not work.

The writing was good, the flow was not. The book dragged. The main reason why I gave it three stars was because this passed the time.
Profile Image for Suzanne.
363 reviews46 followers
February 1, 2018
The heroine had the same life force as 'Jenny' from one of my favorite books 'Again' by Kathleen Gilles Seidel.
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