Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Wayward by Emilia Hart

What They Say…..

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.


What I Say…. 

No big secret that I love books about witches and magical realism is my jam.  So getting a copy of Weyward from NetGalley was a happy day for me! 

The story is written in three timelines, and normally time hopping is not a problem for me.  However, in this book, I could palpably feel the difference in my enjoyment based on which timeline I was currently reading.  

think I liked Violet's stary best of all, but I wish they had spent more time on her adulthood, and how she became the woman that left the cottage to a niece who doesn't even remember her.  I felt like that part of the story could have been explored.


Interestingly, the current time period was the least interesting part of the book for me.  Kate didn’t seem like she could come from the same bloodline as Altha and Violet.  They both broke barriers in times when doing so was dangerous.  They used their knowledge to help other women, and to help themselves to break free from the choking hold men in their lives have over the women of their time.

The story was good and kept me interested, but Kate’s portion of the story didn’t really pick up any steam until the end.