Weyward – Emilia Hart

Altha – 1619

Altha is on trial, accused of being a witch.

Night had already fallen for me.

Violet – 1942

Violet’s father is appalled by her behaviour (climbing trees is most inappropriate) and is threatening to send her to finishing school so he can marry her off to an eligible young man. Violet wants to be a scientist. She would also like to be allowed to wear trousers. No one understands her “insect obsession”.

‘Is there something wrong with me?’

Kate – 2019

When Kate leaves her abusive relationship, she goes to Weyward Cottage, which was owned by her great-aunt. It is here that she will come to terms with her past and discover her heritage.

I am the monster.

The first Weyward child is always a girl. This is the story of three of them, centuries apart yet connected.

Although each Weyward is given a voice in this story, Altha’s is the only one told in first person. I found something to like about all three women. In particular, their affinity with nature endeared them to me.

Be aware that on page violence against women is part of the story in every timeline. The graphic nature of some of this abuse may be triggering for some readers. Thankfully, women reclaiming their power and having the courage to be themselves was also part of the story.

Favourite no context quote:

Perhaps one day, she said, there would be a safer time. When women could walk the earth, shining bright with power, and yet live.

Content warnings include abortion, domestic abuse, mental health, miscarriage, physical abuse of an animal, racial slur, sexual assault, stillbirth and suicidal ideation. Readers with emetophobia may have trouble with some scenes.

Thank you so much to NetGalley and The Borough Press, an imprint of HarperCollins UK, for the opportunity to read this book.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Kate, 2019
Kate flees London – abandoning everything – for Cumbria and Weyward Cottage, inherited from her great-aunt. There, a secret lurks in the bones of the house, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

Violet, 1942
Violet is more interested in collecting insects and climbing trees than in becoming a proper young lady. Until a chain of shocking events changes her life forever.

Altha, 1619
Altha is on trial for witchcraft, accused of killing a local man. Known for her uncanny connection with nature and animals, she is a threat that must be eliminated.

But Weyward women belong to the wild. And they cannot be tamed…

Weaving together the stories of three women across five centuries, Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.

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