Weyward: A Novel by Emilia Hart
Weyward: A Novel by Emilia Hart
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Genre: Women's Fiction
No. of Pages: 326
Date of US Publication: 7 March, 2023
My Rating: 4.5 Stars
The author’s debut(!!!!) work, Weyward is pure magic; it pulled me in from the opening, transporting me to the English countryside with its wildly engrossing story.
Told in three parts (Altha - 1619, Violet - 1942, Kate - 2019), each part of the Weyward women’s stories is compelling and wonderfully atmospheric. The writing is gorgeous and really evokes images - you see what she’s written, the snow, the woods. I love visual storytelling and Weward is rich with it.
The stories link, and I loved the buildup to this connection. Though it’s not completely without some issue - I found parts to be predictable - the quality of the writing, and the slow build up here seriously keeps you turning the pages. I’m rating this at five stars because, again, the imagery here is so vivid and lush, each character is complete - you come to understand these women, their motivations, and what’s driving them. Fiction that transports can be difficult to find - this was one such novel and I will absolutely keep an eye on Hart so as to read her future works.
I will re-read this one as well, and likely listen to it as an audiobook. Strongly recommended. Fans of Alice Hoffman should love this one.
The worst side effect of this book? The title put wayward son in my head, and I really, really despise that song.
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for the DRC!
"A brave and original debut, Weyward is a spellbinding story about what may transpire when the natural world collides with a legacy of witchcraft." ––Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The Lost Apothecary
I am a Weyward, and wild inside.
2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.
1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.
1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family's grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.
Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart's Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.
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