Tuesday, December 20, 2016

FAMILY TREE by Susan Wiggs


Publisher:    William Morrow
Published:   August 9, 2016
ISBN:         978-0062425430
Genre:       Women’s Fiction
Format:     Print
Obtained via:  Publisher  
Reviewed by name and email address:  Gina  Ginalrmreviews@gmail.com



Annie Rush is on the top of the world—handsome husband, successful television show and she has just found out she is pregnant. What more could a woman want? But in one moment in time it all comes crashing down on her. In a single beat of her heart her baby is lost, her husband and show belong to another woman. But while her world has ended in a moment through a freak accident it takes a year before she learns all she has lost. Or has she lost it all?

When Annie awakes it is not hours later, but a year. One year of her life gone. But more than that year is gone. She wakes of no memory of who she is or how she came to be in the hospital she wakes in. Bit by bit pieces of her life come back to her along with people from her past. People she thought long gone. And with them come secrets things kept hidden from her.  Things are not as bad as all that though.  Annie has the chance many of us would like to have…the chance to start over and this time, get it right.

I’m a long-time fan of Susan Wiggs, particularly her Willow Lake series.  I eagerly awaited the arrival of FAMILY TREE. To say I was disappointed would be putting it mildly. Generally I find women’s fiction to be pretty depressing.  Women of a certain age lose something, if not everything, important to them and they rise from the ashes.  I think you really need to be in the mood to get through all the emotional and/or physical pain the characters go through and be ready for their rising above it all. I never got there with this one. I suppose I should have been surprised when Wiggs, like so many contemporary fiction writers turned to women’s fiction…there is a growing trend toward that and so far I haven’t seen any of these fabulous writers make the transition well. 

To begin with Wiggs breaks her chapters into “Then” chapters that reflect Annie’s life growing up and her early life with Martin—the cheating spouse. In counterpoint there are the “Now” chapters that reflect where Annie is at this point in time. I found it very distracting so after the third “Then” chapter I went through and read all the “Thens” and then went back and read the “Nows”. Doing that helped me with the flow of the story.

My next hurdle was Annie.  I never warmed up to her. The “Then” Annie was kind of two-dimensional. The “Now” Annie was pretty clueless.  I’m not sure I’d want her for a friend.

This one was not Susan Wiggs at her finest. This is not one I can truly recommend.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement of this book.

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