Title: The Wilderwomen
Author: Ruth Emmie Lang
Narrator: Anna Caputo
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: November 15, 2022
Ohioana Book Award finalist Ruth Emmie Lang returns with a new cast of ordinary characters with extraordinary abilities.
Five years ago, Nora Wilder disappeared. The older of her two daughters, Zadie, should have seen it coming, because she can literally see things coming. But not even her psychic abilities were able to prevent their mother from vanishing one morning.
Zadie’s estranged younger sister, Finn, can’t see into the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, so good that she remembers not only her own memories, but the echoes of memories other people have left behind. On the afternoon of her graduation party, Finn is seized by an “echo” more powerful than anything she’s experienced before: a woman singing a song she recognizes, a song about a bird…
When Finn wakes up alone in an aviary with no idea of how she got there, she realizes who the memory belongs to: Nora.
Now, it’s up to Finn to convince her sister that not only is their mom still out there, but that she wants to be found. Against Zadie’s better judgement, she and Finn hit the highway, using Finn’s echoes to retrace Nora’s footsteps and uncover the answer to the question that has been haunting them for years: Why did she leave?
But the more time Finn spends in their mother’s past, the harder it is for her to return to the present, to return to herself. As Zadie feels her sister start to slip away, she will have to decide what lengths she is willing to go to to find their mother, knowing that if she chooses wrong, she could lose them both for good.
The Wilderwoman was likable but not engrossing.
I listened to the audio and I think Anna Caputo's narration is the way to go with so many past and present chapters plus different POVs. She helped keep storylines straight for me.
The novel revolves around two sisters. Zadie and Finn.
Zadie Wilder is twenty-three and her sister Finn is seventeen. Five years ago, their mother, Nora walked out on them. The sisters get separated. Finn as an underage child is placed under foster care. Zadie is left to survive on her own. In the beginning, they tried to stay close but this doesn't last. Now that Finn is almost about to graduate, they have planned two weeks at the beach to bond again. Yet, Finn has an ulterior motive, she wants to search for her mother with Zadie. She believes her ability is going to help. Yes, you heard right, Finn has the ability to "feel" past memories which she calls "echoes". Zadie is a psychic but she doesn't like to have an ability so she doesn't use it.
The story follows these two women in search of their mother, interacting with interesting characters along the way.
Even though magical realism is a favorite, I found myself uninterested at times. I also didn't think the reason for Nora's leaving was enough. The resolution felt rushed too.
A complimentary copy was provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.