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Tainted Tree [Paperback]

Jacquelynn Luben
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
Price: 9.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 May 2008
A surprise bequest from an unknown benefactor leads American adoptee, Addie Russell, to Surrey on a journey to discover more about her mysterious English family. She does not know that her search will uncover secrets that will both shock and thrill her. Nor can she imagine the emotions and events which await her.

Second Prize at the Winchester Writers Conference

'An engaging narrative voice ... I was immediately drawn into the story.'
Donna Condon, editor, Piatkus Books

'The atmosphere is skilfully built, humming with suspense ... evocative images and well-chosen vocabulary ... a page-turner'
Adrienne Dines, author

'Likeable people ...excellent family dialogue, which races along most satisfyingly'
Historical Novel Association Review

Product details

  • Paperback: 378 pages
  • Publisher: Goldenford Publishers Limited (1 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0953161382
  • ISBN-13: 978-0953161386
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 12.8 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,170,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jacquelynn Luben has been writing for more than thirty years, and has published four books. She is working on her third novel.

Her most recent novel,'Tainted Tree', is the story of American adoptee, Addie, who is left a house in Guildford, Surrey, and visits England in a search for her roots and her identity. She also spends time in the West Country, where some of her family lived. 'Tainted Tree', a prize-winning novel, taps into the current interest in genealogy. An extract of the book can be found at www.goldenford.co.uk.

'A Bottle of Plonk' is a novella in which a bottle of wine is taken from one story to another. It has been compared to a modern version of 'La Ronde'. Both novels are available for the Kindle and in paperback.

Jacquelynn started writing after the death of a baby daughter through cot death, and her first published book was a self help book, commissioned by Thorsons and based on this experience. 'The Fruit of the Tree' was an autobiography which tells of that sad time in a more subjective way.

In addition to her published books, Jacquelynn Luben has written many articles and short stories. Several of her short stories are available as Kindle books - seven of which are published by Untreed Reads (www.untreedreads.com), including 'An Affair of the Mind', 'Damaged Goods', The Honey Hunters and 'The Green Girl'. Untreed Reads has also published an e-version of her autobiographical book, 'The Fruit of the Tree' in all formats.

You can read more about her at her website: http://freespace.virgin.net/jackie.luben where you'll find much more detailed information, or on her blog: http://jackieluben.blogspot.com/.

She can also be found at MySpace, Facebook and Twitter.

Product Description

From the Publisher

Everyone, it seems is seeking to find their identity through websites devoted to genealogy and TV programmes such as Who do you think you are? In addition, the search for a lost parent or child by adopted children, or the parents who gave them up, is of such great human interest that it is also often the focus of radio and television programmes.

Jacquelynn Luben's novel, Tainted Tree, tells the story of a similar quest and combines these themes, when Addie Russell, an adopted American girl, tries to find out about her English family.

About the Author

Originally from London, Jacquelynn Luben lives with her husband in a Surrey village, her children having fled the nest. Tainted Tree, her fourth book, is her second work of fiction and follows her novella, A Bottle of Plonk. She has also written many articles and short stories. When not writing, she has studied, first with Open University and subsequently at Surrey University, where she gained a degree in 2002, with a dissertation on the Harry Potter series, and she also helps her husband in his business. Tainted Tree won Second Prize at the Winchester Writers' Conference.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tainted Tree 9 Oct 2008
I came across this book purely by chance and am so glad that I did. I was looking on Google to see what books were set in Guildford and noticed that this one was and available from a local publisher. It appealed to my genealogical mind, so I ordered it and it arrived on Monday just in time for a business trip. I devoured the book during my 6 hours traveling yesterday.

Addie inherits a lovely house in Guildford from someone she does not know,but she understand that the deceased has links were her mother, who died in childbirth with Addie, In America. The people that Addie's mother was living with write to advise the would be grandparents of the death of their daughter to find that they do not want to accept responsibility for the child,and after a period of time, Addie is adopted by the couple. Addie has a happy and loved childhood, but finds that she has questions of her heritage and wants to "know" her deceased Mother, and she has no idea who her father is.....Inheriting the house is a catalyst for discovering the answers.

The link is the Addie's mother was god daughter to James, and it is his house that she has inherited. Addie sets out on a journey of discovery, and as with most genealogical type searches Addie soon finds that she has more questions than answers, and that she has to live with the decisions that her ancestors made.

The author has done obvious research into genealogical searches and mentions the huge references of birth,marriage and death records at St Catherine's House, of course they are not longer available in the serch room by that has occured since the book was published earlier in the year, and the reference to it in the book reminded me of days lifting those heavy books and battling for space with other researchers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. 16 Jun 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this very much. I am doing my family tree so love a good genealogical story. I did however think that Addie (our heroine) had a lot more information - and patience - than a lot of us amateur historians! But, a slight touch of jealousy aside (as to the amount of info Addie had) I thought it was a well-paced, well-written read and would happily recommend it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A woman in search of her past 30 Aug 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is set in the early 90's. Addie's adoptive aunt sees an advert advising that a solicitor's firm in Guildford is looking for Adrienne Heron or her heirs. Adrienne died the day after she gave birth to Addie. The advert seems to suggest that James the deceased owner of a house may be Addie's Grandfather. She leaves her adoptive family and a broken relationship in the US to go and investigate.

I didn't find the research completely convincing but with lots of coincidences, some letters and Adrienne's diary, Addie begins to build her family tree. Along the way there is a romance with the usual misunderstandings and difficulties.

Overall this book is well written and the story flows along with some tender moments to make you say ahh....
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Read 25 July 2012
By Ann M
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. After Addie, an American adoptee whose English mother died giving birth to her is left a house in Surrey by her mother's Godfather she comes to England determined to find out more about her mother. This she succeeds in doing wth the aid of some old letters and her mother's diary. I did feel that the amount of documentation available to her was a little unbelievable but that didn't spoil a good story and I became totally involved with Addie and her search for her roots
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ancestors and lovers. 14 Mar 2013
By Jackie.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really good story. Anyone who has investigated their family tree will enjoy this. My only criticism is that it ended a bit quick.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartwarming page turner 11 Mar 2013
By shell
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Story about a woman adopted after the death of her mother from food poisoning the day after she was born. On receiving news of a property left to her she heads to England to find out about her biological family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature or nurture? 30 Aug 2012
By Ignite TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have previously only read a couple of Jacquie's short stories so I thought it was time I tackled something longer. This is a story of an American girl, adopted from birth after the death of her English mother. Addie finds she has inherited property and money from someone described as her mother's godfather. She comes to England to see the place, possibly to put it up for sale, and to find out more about the mystery of her family background.

Jacquelynn Luben is a classy writer. Her work is always clear, logical and uncluttered. Here she patiently displays for us the history of a family through 4 generations as discovered by Addie. Addie finds help from her benefactor's lawyer and his family. This is no dry genealogical tome, however. The author has the ability to descibe and evoke emotion so that we are drawn into the details of the story and we want, we need, to find out more. There is a sad family story which unfolds here and there's scope for the old discussion about nature or nurture as we see how the women's lives reflect one another down the years. Addie is a strong character though and her determination comes through. I enjoyed this book very much indeed.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Untainted writing 3 July 2011
By Aonia
I'm happy to say I took Jacquelynn Luben's `Tainted Tree' on holiday with me. Initially, I thought I was in for a slow read, but that's only because it's a very different book to the type I've been reading lately. In reality, this book moves at a gentle, steady pace, perfectly in keeping with the story. A bequest leads American adoptee, Addie Russell, to Surrey in the UK where she will uncover facts about her past that are both painful and bittersweet. The exploration of both her family's history and self-discovery are a slowly unfolding journey of revelations that the reader takes almost as a ghost hovering on Addie's shoulders. Nothing is rushed; nothing is uncovered out of a logical, practical and perfectly paced sequence. I found the story refreshing, and although capable of making the reader tearful at times, well-balanced and realistic. The writer has said that every word in this book was necessary, and I quickly realised what she meant. I became as engrossed as Addie in the search for her past. A good and well above average summer read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling!!
Extremely well written mystery with lots of twists and turns. Pity it's not in paperback would love to buy for my daughter who is not a kindle reader
Published 28 days ago by Gwendolyn Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Love this sort of book and characters are well developed. A mystery which is revealed late on in the book.
Published 1 month ago by GreenReader
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Very good story, especially if one has looked into their own personal ancestry.will look for more books by this author.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Jean Bindon
5.0 out of 5 stars Tainted Tree by Jacqueline Luben
I have given this book five stars. Excellent read keeps the reader interested from start to finish. Sorry when I finished the book.
Published 3 months ago by pmswann
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read
I bought this cheap and wasn't expecting much, however I was surprised and will be reading more by this author
Published 4 months ago by Marion Pack
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
Enjoyed reading this, a easy book to lose yourself in, thoroughly enjoyable. Would definitely recommend this, curl up and get involved in someone else's life!!
Published 4 months ago by jenny
3.0 out of 5 stars easy read
Easy to read book, believable story. Seemed to finish to quickly tho. Will problerly try another of her titles. Enjoy
Published 5 months ago by dg
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it
A very good read, will be looking for more books by this author very soon. I'm addicted to this kind of story
Published 6 months ago by Mrs Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars A good storyline that keeps you occupied
I love a good genealogical story and this looked very promising from the reviews. I did enjoy the story although I felt there were just a few too many coincidences for it to be... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Babsso
5.0 out of 5 stars Tainted Tree.
This is one for family historians everywhere. An interesting, well written story of one woman's search for her family roots. Excellent!
Published 6 months ago by Jenny
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