Family and Focus

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Dreams help to give us the drive and ambition to accomplish great things. But sometimes you get so hyper-focused on accomplishing the dream that you neglect the people and things around you that make life so great. When you have the opportunity to take a step back and reevaluate your choices, would you choose to do the same thing again? Family Tree by Susan Wiggs explores one woman’s ambition and accident that waylays her life.

Annie Rush had accomplished her dream of producing a successful food TV show and had a wonderful life with her husband, the show’s star. That is until she caught her husband cheating, got hit in the head by malfunctioning equipment, and lost a year of her life to a traumatic brain injury that left her in a coma. Upon waking in a rehab center in her home town of Switchback, Vermont, across the country from her life in L.A., Annie learns that her husband has divorced her, despite not having any memories as to marrying him in the first place. As she recovers, her memories come back too, both the good and the bad. With this new start in her life, Annie gets to decide anew about her choices of producing a food TV show and committing to staying with her first love.

While a cute story and a light, quick read, it was a bit too cliche for my tastes (and very much like a Lifetime movie, which is something I’m not too keen on). The narrative was well-written and utilized present day alternation with memories to more fully paint the story. The process of recovering from the injury was refreshingly realistic, with all the requisite family worrying and fussing. Annie’s brief journey to figure out what she wants out of life demonstrated the power of knowing what you’re capable of accomplishing and finding what will make you happy.

Overall, I’d give it a 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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