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Weyward by Emilia Hart


Weyward by Emilia Hart
UK Publication: Feb 2023
Reviewed by: Book Worm  
Rating: [★★★]

This ARC was provided by Harpers Collins UK (via NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.

One word review – Bewitching

Synopsis from Goodreads: 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 Thoughts: Loved this new exploration of wise women with a hint of feminism, a finger to the patriarchy and a twist of magical realism. The witches in this book are typical of those accused of witchcraft they have an affinity with nature and knowledge of healing which in a male dominated world is dangerous. They do not have broomsticks or cauldrons although the odd pet may creep in here or there.

Normally with multiple storylines there is one I prefer above the overs but that didn’t happen here I was interested in how life would turn out for each woman and while some reviews have criticised the way the ending ties everything up I actually appreciated it.

My favourite quote: “Witch. The word slithers from the mouth like a serpent, drips from the tongue as thick and black as tar. We never thought of ourselves as witches, my mother and I. For this was a word invented by me, a word that brings power to those who speak it, not those it describes. A word that builds gallows and pyres, turns breathing women into corpses.”

Who would like this? I would recommend this to anyone who likes fiction about wise women, fiction with a historical component and different time frames.

We want to hear from you! Have you read this book? What did you think? 

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