Prather’s Pick: A novel set at a maple farm
This week’s column begins with some exciting news for young people, ages 8 and up. The Craig branch of the Moffat County Libraries is hosting a Winter Writing Club that will begin meeting on Monday evenings from 5 to 6 p.m., starting Nov. 7 and continuing through Feb. 27. Librarian Tania Bade said that during each session, participants will take time to brainstorm ideas as a group, and then each person will write his or her own story. The group will have a chance to talk to local authors, too. Tania said to “bring your imagination, a notebook, a pen and a friend.”
Also, as reported in an earlier column, a writers group is just getting started in Craig. This group will meet at at 1 P.M. the first Saturday of each month at Downtown Books. So come join us Nov. 5. If you have questions, please call Downtown Books at 970-824-5343.
This week’s book is a pleasant read, indeed. “Family Tree,” a novel for adults, was written by Susan Wiggs, who has written more than fifty novels. The book is published by William Morrow, an Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers (2016).
The main character in the novel is Annie Rush. As the novel opens, Annie and her husband Martin are arguing about spending production money for a 1,500-pound water buffalo that will appear on their cooking show, “The Key Ingredient.” Martin is the cook and star of the show that he co-hosts with Melissa Judd. Annie is the executive producer.
Martin and Annie don’t see eye to eye about things. Martin thinks the appeal of the show comes with the “outlandish.” Annie believes the thing that matters is the way the food is prepared — not a water buffalo.
The argument is the way things start out that morning. Then Annie has an interview with People Magazine. She has been getting calls about a malfunction with hydraulics on a scissor lift at the set — a lot more to deal with than a water buffalo.
Then something happens to make Annie forget about everything else. She takes a home pregnancy test, and she’s surprised to find two pink lines. Annie is pregnant. She rushes to the set to give Martin the good news.
However, when she arrives at Martin’s trailer, she’s in for a shock. Martin isn’t alone — he’s with Melissa. On her way out she has to go through a hard hat zone where men are working on the hydraulic lift. Suddenly, the “entire structure comes crashing down.”
Annie is asleep a long time. The novel switches back and forth from then to now, and that’s how the reader finds out about Annie’s earlier life. When she was younger she lived on a maple farm in Vermont. Her parents have been divorced. She has a brother, Kyle, who is married with children. Her boyfriend was Fletcher Wyndham.
When Annie finally wakes up, she thinks it’s a Monday, close to the time she dealt with the water buffalo and saw Martin and Melissa together. She wonders why her manicure is gone — her hair, too. Annie is in Vermont. Her mother tells her that she has been asleep for a year. There was a chance that she would never wake up.
Annie is finally allowed to go home — not back to Los Angeles but to the maple farm. Surprisingly, her father is around more now. Fletcher, now the Honorable Fletcher Wyndham, shows up, too. What’s to become of Annie’s career? There’s a lot going on in this novel.
“Family Tree” costs $25.99 in hardcover or you can find it at the Craig branch of Moffat County Libraries, with the new books.
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