Thursday, August 02, 2018

Family Tree

Family Tree. Katherine Ayres. 1996. 176 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: I sat in the backseat of the bus and looked out.

Premise/plot: Tyler Stoudt begins her sixth grade family tree project reluctantly. She is a miracle baby; she was delivered thirty minutes after her mother's death. Her only family is her loving father, Jakob Stoudt. She knows nothing of his family or her mother's family--not until she begins the project and her father slowly but surely starts to open up a little about his past. Can she piece together the clues from her father's stories and her mother's writing? (Her mother was an author.)

My thoughts: I enjoyed this one very much. Tyler Stoudt discovers that her father was an Amish man who married an Englisher. She had come to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, to research a book on Amish wedding traditions. The two became friendly since it is Jakob's sister who is the bride she's writing about. After that first book is published she returns to the community to write a second book: this time on woodworking--Jakob is the subject! After the two marry, Jakob is shunned by his family, and Sarah (Tyler's mother) is rejected by hers as well.

Family Tree is a satisfying read about making peace with the past and healing. I really enjoyed getting to know Tyler and her father.

I'm not sure if I would have enjoyed reading this one as a child. Readers find out very early on that Tyler's mother died. I may have put the book down right then and there and not given it a fair chance. That's the kind of reader I was as a kid. Anything that even hinted at potential sads was put aside. I have matured as a reader, thank goodness!

© 2018 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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