Sunday, April 16, 2023

Weyward by Emilia Hart


Title: Weyward
Author: Emilia Hart
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: March 7, 2023

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.

I'm so late in writing this review but finally, here it goes.

Three women. Three mistreated women are all linked by their resilience and ability to learn to survive in a world that is not friendly to them.

in 1619, Altha Weyward is a teenager. Her mother has passed, she doesn't know her father and she is fighting for her life. She has been accused of witchcraft and killing a neighbor with her powers. How is she able to endure it?

In 1942, Violet Ayres wanted more than what she was allowed. She craves knowledge. She wishes she could be like her brother and be able to learn what he is. Yet, she is told that marriage and having kids is her only purpose. Her father is unyielding and her mother has passed, rumored to have gone crazy. Then two things happen, one involving finding out about the Weywards' past, the other one, a traumatizing event that will change her future.

in 2019, Kate Ayres is running away from his abusive partner. She runs to Weyward Cottage, a place she inherited from her great-aunt Violet. Little by little, she wants to know more about her great-aunt and her ancestors. What she learns baffles her but at the same time, it empowers her.

Great writing combined with a realistic atmospheric setting made Weyward a winning novel for me. I liked all 3 women and was hoping for a good outcome for all of them. The narrators, Aysha Kala, Helen Keeley, and Nell Barlow only augmented the experience.

This was a buddy read with Melissa and Terrie.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by St. Martin's Press via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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