|The Borough Press|
2 February 2023
My thanks to the publisher for my copy of this book
Three women. Five centuries. One secret.
‘I had nature in my heart, she said. Like she did, and her mother before her. There was something about us – the Weyward women – that bonded us more tightly with the natural world.
We can feel it, she said, the same way we feel rage, sorrow or joy.’
In 2019, Kate flees an abusive relationship in London for Crows Beck, a remote Cumbrian village. Her destination is Weyward Cottage, inherited from her great Aunt Violet, an eccentric entomologist.
As Kate struggles with the trauma of her past, she uncovers a secret about the women in her family. A secret dating back to 1619, when her ancestor Altha Weyward was put on trial for witchcraft…
Weyward is a stunning debut novel about gender and control – about the long echoes of male violence through the centuries. But more than that, it is a celebration of nature, female power and breaking free.
📖 My review..
Weyward brings us the story of three very different women who, although separated by time, have a common bond, and it is this bond which links the Wayward women through five centuries. They each face a battle against ignorance and prejudice which when brought up to date with Kate's battle against abuse in the present connects her with her ancestor, Altha who was on trial for witchcraft in 17th century Lancashire. When Kate's great-aunt Violet bequeaths her Weyward Cottage, in the remote hamlet of Crows Beck in Cumbria Kate is glad of the bolt hole but once at Crows Beck she starts to sense an encroaching atmosphere and the final loosening of family secrets which have been long buried.
Deftly keeping all triple strands of the multiple narratives together, Weyward is a nicely written historical time slip novel which has poignancy, excitement and danger in a story which brings to the forefront the manipulation of women whether it be in the 1600s, the 1940s or the 21st century.The story moves along well with each of women having their own individual chapters with none of them seeking to outshine the other. There is enough historical detail to make the older elements of the story feel authentic and the modern moments are well described. Weyward is the story of three strong female characters who are linked together by both blood and strength of will.
About the Author
Emilia Hart is a British-Australian writer. She was born in Sydney and studied English Language and Law at the University of New South Wales before working as a lawyer in Sydney and London. Emilia is a graduate of Curtis Brown Creative's Three Month Online Novel Writing Course and was highly commended in the 2021 Caledonia Novel Award. her short fiction has been published in Australia dn the Uk. She lives in London.
Twitter @EmiliaHartBooks #Weyward
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