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Ratings and Book Reviews (6 11 star ratings
6 reviews
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4.6 out of 5
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    'It was an amazing window into his life."

    Lost love letters written by Alice and Elliott 100 years ago, which were found in a secret drawer, paved the way for Ali and Ben to meet and opened the door to a time when life was different but love was still the same: magical, extraordinary and full of adventure. Despite living 100 years apart, they lived parallel lives. The two couples had a lot in common; they were adventurous and wanted to spend their lives seeing and doing things together. Elliott noticed Alice on the train and didn’t miss his chance to introduce himself one morning at breakfast. Even though Ben didn’t want to talk to Ali about the letters, she didn’t give up and continued to email him, adding more information each time, until he agreed to email her back. Elliott always regretted not asking Alice to go with him on the ship to the Philippines. In a letter she never sent, she admitted that she would have gone with him and that she wanted to adventure with him. Who knows what would have happened if she had mailed the letter. Of course, Ali and Ben wouldn’t be here if Alice had run away with Elliott, so that is just and interesting anecdote. It was love at first sight for Elliott and he definitely swept Alice off her feet. She loved spending a wonderful five days with him and oftentimes she wondered if it had all been a dream. Elliott sent flowers to Alice with a personal note the morning he left and she kept and cherished the gift for the rest of her life. Ali and Ben began their courtship emailing back and forth, where they got to know each other and eventually felt comfortable enough to share all of their hopes and dreams. It doesn’t matter how you get to know someone, whether through handwritten letters or by way of cyber-space. What is important is that you are honest with each other and keep an open mind and heart. I am in love with this book because not only is it a love story but it also gives us a glimpse into the past and shows us what the world was like so long ago. Most of us don’t remember our history lessons but by reading their letters we can understand what the world was like at that time, how hard it was to find a job, make a living and be happy. This is a one of a kind book that no one will ever recreate because Mae wrote these words from her heart and gladly shared them with us.
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    Engaging and Intelligent

    In the interests of clarity, I need to say that I am a huge fan of Mae Wood and her writing. I follow her on social media and I managed to score an ARC of her newest release, Genealogy. This book was a departure for her, as her first releases were more mainstream contemporary romances. This is an epistolary novel and not to mince any words-it’s gorgeous. The story is told through the interweaving of two time frames: Alice trying to choose between Elliot and Fred during the First World War and Ali working through relationships with Scott and Ben now. Both couples are separated by distance and keep in touch through correspondence. Alice is dependent on letters sent halfway around the world through the challenges of war-time ship movement. Ali has the speed of delivery and the agony of wait times with the potential immediacy of email, text messages, and video messaging to keep in touch across the country. The two stories are linked by the fact that Ali is named after Alice, her great-grandmother. Ali inherits a pack of the letters sent to Alice from Elliot. I was delayed in getting to read this book by a couple of days, and finally sat down to at least start it this morning. I ended up finishing it, sitting next to a cold cup of tea. This story sucked me in, entirely. The characters are warm and unique and as cliched as it sounds, Alice, Elliott, and Fred really do have the charm and innocence that we associate with earlier times. The earnest devotion of first love, an era when showing off your calves was risque, and the pain of making choices when your dreams collide. Mae has done a fabulous job of capturing the tone of the era, in the language that the characters use, in the details that influence their actions, and in the descriptions of the world they live in. By contrast, Ali, Scott, and Ben, faced with a similar situation in their personal lives, make their choices based on a different set of priorities and rationales that will be more familiar to readers. Ali is given Alice’s letters just as many parts of her life are in flux, and she uses the letters first for diversion and then for inspiration. There are many emotional moments throughout the book. I was giggling, gasping, intrigued, and sad by moments. But without giving anything away, the last chapter was when my heart was really ripped out. No one expects that last few paragraphs of an entire book to be when they cry, but that’s what happened. Not to worry, it does have a happy ending, but it’s the bittersweet happiness of real life, not the perfect “happily ever after” that standard romance novels excel in. I’d give it an extra star just for that, if I could. As it is, I’m giving it an enthusiastic 5 stars on Goodreads. NOTE: As an added bonus, Mae has included discussion points at the end of book, making this an excellent choice for your book club or classroom
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    Love, loss, hope & adventure across time & oceans

    What a riveting read GENEALOGY by Mae Wood is! I was thoroughly engrossed in Elliott and Alice’s romance; a chance meeting, a few days’ acquaintanceship and several years of communication only by letters during a tumultuous time in world history. Letter writing is definitely a lost art form and I love reading books in epistolary form because it’s a chance to recapture that time. Not only does the language fascinate me, it’s also the news and topics people chose to write about and share. And in Genealogy we see Elliott writing to Alice all about their future life and the steps he is taking to ensure she never regrets choosing him. We know their shared life never eventuates, which makes reading his letters all the more poignant and bittersweet. In present day Kansas City, it’s Ali, the great granddaughter of Alice who reads the letters and decides to research Elliott’s life and hopefully discover why he and Alice remained apart. This project comes at a vulnerable time in Ali’s romantic life and family life. It was good to be able to get into the mind of Ali because often, we can only guess at Elliott and Alice’s thoughts. I enjoyed the parallels between the past and present and how similar issues are managed so differently based on the values and opportunities available at the time. The entire book is great but a special mention needs to go out to that epilogue. Ugh! It killed me! Especially when…. oh, sorry. No spoilers from me. You’ll just have to read the book. GEANOLOGY is a beautiful story of love, loss, hope and adventure across time and across oceans. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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    Genealogy

    I can't put into words how much I loved this book! Mae Wood has crafted such an inspirational story of love and loss, but picking yourself up to reach for your dreams! I loved how the story was told through Ali finding old love letters between her great-grandmother, Alice, and Elliot. It was so different- and that is definitely part of what had me gravitate toward Geneology! I cannot express how much I recommend this book!
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    All the feels!

    Genealogy is a story that beautifully blends historical and contemporary romance. I read this book from beginning to end in less than a day! “His heart tightens as the illusion of their proximity shimmers and breaks. They are so far apart, both in space and time. The thousands of miles he swore to bridge with his letters...” Ali discovers letters written to her great grandmother Alice. Letters that reveal an epic love story. With those letters the author takes us on a journey through time to early 1900’s and gives us a real feel for the time and places. “Sometimes love burns slowly like a smoldering coal and sometimes it’s a flaming forest fire.” Woven into this tale is Ali’s story that is a wonderful contemporary romance. It gives us all the feels from heartbreak to humor. A slow burn that had me turning pages and unable put my book down. -5 Stars!-
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