Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Weyward by Emilia Hart

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.

Hardcover, 329 pages
Published March 7, 2023
 by St. Martin's Press
4/5 stars

I was attracted to this book by its intriguing cover. Once I read it, everything just fit together.

I’m not always a fan of three way timelines. Sorry, could just be my age and attention span that sometimes I find it overwhelming. But here it worked nicely.

There’s a central theme to Weyward, which begins in the year 1619.  A young woman is accused of witchcraft, jumping to 1942 there is a teen being raised by her father. And finally 2019 (thankfully before the pandemic) as Kate flees an abusive marriage to Weyward cottage.

I won’t go into detail of what transpires through these three timelines, but suffice to say that I liked each of these women. Their stories were unique, they were tested in ways that were heartbreaking, sad and pulled each of them out of their comfort zones.

Wayward is a story of family, the past and strength. The timelines connected with a touch of supernatural elements and nature. It was well written and detailed the strength of three young women across five centuries.

This book was my March 2023 book of the month pick and is part of my 2023 reading off my shelf challenge

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