by Mae Wood


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Inspired by real, hundred-year-old love letters.

My great-grandmother's name is bold across the cream envelope, now golden at the seams with age. I can't remember the last time I’ve seen graceful, purposeful handwriting with a fountain pen and not the hasty scrawl of ballpoint.

Alice Hirshhorn, Astoria Hotel, Seattle Washington.

“Letters to Great-grandma Alice,” I say with wonder, tracing my fingers over the faded postmark and foreign stamps.

December 1915. Philippine Islands.

I turn the thick envelope in my palm, slide out the tightly folded pages, and unfold the thin paper, taking care not to tear the letters that were important enough to keep for a century.

My dearest Alice

“Great-grandpa was in the Philippines?” I ask.

“Oh no. Not your great-grandfather,” answers Grammie, her eyes twinkling with her mother’s secrets. “Elliott.”


At thirty-three and with her future unclear, Ali Waller finds her way home again. A box of long-forgotten love letters written to her great-grandmother holds the unlikely key to Ali finding her new path.

As she tracks down the letter writer and his descendants, Ali learns the magic of love, hope, and resilience.

Told by three characters, and across century and an ocean, Genealogy is an enchanting story about love and loss, taking chances, and embracing the surprises that life brings.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780986288692
Publisher: Atacama Books
Publication date: 10/24/2018
Pages: 316
Sales rank: 186,432
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.71(d)

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Genealogy 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
MJS77 More than 1 year ago
I had seen this book on offer through NetGalley. I actually checked it out numerous times because the premise kept drawing me in but I didn't think I had the time to fit it into my reading schedule. Lo and behold I got a message from a GoodReads group with an excerpt of the first few pages and there was no way that I couldn't not request an ARC. I was thrilled when I was approved. This book is one of the best books I've read this year!!!! Ali discovers 100 year old letters written to her Great Grandma Alice from a man named Elliott. She decides that as the new owner she will read the letters written during a time that when you wanted someone to hear your words and know your thoughts it wasn't achieved with the quick click of a button but through putting pen to paper and penning out what you want your words to convey. Hoping that your correspondence makes it into their hands and with it you receive a reply. After reading all of the beautiful and poignant letters Ali feels the need to track down Elliott's descendants and share his words and part of his life and story with them. She sets into motion a series of events that lead her to connect with Elliot's Great Grandson, Ben and quite possibly the path her life should be on. I loved the triple POV in this one. We get Elliott's thoughts and feelings for Alice, we get Ali's feelings as she goes through the motions of discovering Alice's first great love and then we get the story from Alice's POV. It all tied together so perfectly and with an ending that made my heart feel full. If you read any book before the end of this year it needs to be Genealogy. It really is such a touching and heartfelt look at a time so different from how lives are lived today. **Received ARC through NetGally. Voluntairly reviewed**
Grottoes More than 1 year ago
This story dazzled me. It was warm and intricate. The look into turn of the century customs, wartime problems and love stories was fascinating. Ali finds her Great Grandmothers love letters and embarks on a journey that changes her life. I sat down to start this book and suddenly it was the end!! Seriously amazing. Well researched, beautifully written and quite touching.
Chloe Trivelpiece More than 1 year ago
Wow, just wow....It's rare for me to be rendered "speechless" or wordless (this is a review after all) from reading a story.  But Mae Wood has done it and she has done it with grace and with class. This is truly a love story for the ages.  This is not only about love letters between two people a century ago, but a friendship and love between two people today. The parallels between the love story between Alice and Elliot and Ali and Ben were fantastic and believable.  Is it fate? Is it destiny? Who knows? And that's what makes it such a beautiful story to read. Ali inherits letters from her great-grandmother, her namesake Alice.  The letters were beautiful, they were tragic and filled with such hope.  It paints a picture of the world back in the early 1900's that is so well written, I could stop and picture myself in the story, walking besides Alice in Seattle or Elliot in the Philippines. In reading these letters, Ali wants to reach out to Elliot's family to try to find out more about the man that claimed her great-grandmother's heart for the years that they wrote to each other. This story is going to give you all the feels! I mean it, ALL OF THE FEELS! I feel that Mae put her heart and soul into this story and it bleeds throughout the pages.  I laughed, I cried, I was angry and hurt.  I also realized that maybe the powers that be truly do have plans for us that we have no idea.  This is a story that I would proudly let my teenage daughter read.  It's a beautiful love story. Well done Mae! I bow down to your storytelling genius! This will definitely be in my "Best of 2018 Reads". Do yourself a favor, get this book, enjoy it slowly.  Really sink into the pages.  You will thank me later.