Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

Back Cover:
Spanning three generations and half the world, Wildflower Hill is a sweeping, romantic, and compelling story of two women who share a legacy of secrets, heartbreak, courage, and love. Emma, a prima ballerina in London, is at a crossroads after an injured knee ruins her career. Forced to rest and take stock of her life, she finds that she’s mistaken fame and achievement for love and fulfillment. Returning home to Australia, she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and a strange inheritance: a sheep station in isolated rural Australia. Certain she has been saddled with an irritating burden, Emma prepares to leave for Wildflower Hill to sell the estate. Beattie also found herself at a crossroads as a young woman, but she was pregnant and unwed. She eventually found success—but only after following an unconventional path that was often dangerous and heartbreaking. Beattie knew the lessons she learned in life would be important to Emma one day, and she wanted to make sure Emma’s heart remained open to love, no matter what life brought. She knew the magic of the Australian wilderness would show Emma the way. Wildflower Hill is a compelling, atmospheric, and romantic novel about taking risks, starting again, and believing in yourself. It’s about finding out what you really want and discovering that the answer might be not at all what you’d expect.

I'm always eager to read historical family saga novels and this novel certainly did not disappoint. Wildflower Hill was an all-encompassing, romantic story is about two women who not only share a legacy, but who are inextricably linked through secrets and similarities. Page by page, the tale unfolds, spanning three generations and two countries half a world apart - England and a secluded Tasmanian sheep farm.

The story is told through the point of view of two women – Beattie in third person narrative in the early 1900’s, and her thirty-one year old granddaughter, Emma, in first person narrative during modern time. As both women journey through life, their passions, secrets, and dreadful losses are revealed. Separately, they learn the true meaning and value of life. The two voices and character introspections are distinct and aid in separating the eras from each other. I very much enjoyed the contrast and it helped solidify the difference between the two major characters.

Wildflower Hill is women’s fiction at its finest, a journey of discovery, a family saga, beautifully written, whose main characters the reader can easily engage with. The author’s lovely prose makes this family saga an easy, enjoyable read and one I most wholeheartedly recommend.

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