Time for me to tell you about a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Wildflower Hill by Kimberly Freeman hooked me from the first chapter to the last page. It's historical fiction, sweeping through three generations. The two main characters are Beattie Blaxland and her granddaughter, Emma.
Beattie lives in Glasgow in her youth. She falls head over heels in love with a married man, ends up pregnant and runs away with him to Australia in 1929. This choice leads to many other choices along the way. Hers is a story of love, loss, and hardship as she makes her way to become owner of a sheep farm and wool business at Wildflower Hil.
Beattie's granddaughter, Emma, is a ballerina who lives and performs in London. An accident ends her career, and the man she loves leaves her for another woman. Melodrama for sure, but also life. Emma returns home to Australia where she discovers her Grandmother, Beattie, has left her a house in Tasmnia, a far southern area of the country. Emma plans to sell the house but must go there first to sort out the furnishings and arrange for the sale. When she arrives, she discovers boxes and boxes of her grandmother's papers and belongings which she'd left there and some that she'd shipped later from her home in Sydney.
While going through the boxes, Emma learns more about her grandmother than she'd ever known, and she meets people near Wildflower Hill, the home she only wants to get rid of, who affect her in ways she'd never thought possible.
The story jumps back and forth between Beattie's life and Emma's, but it's not a distraction. Ms Freeman manages to use this technique skillfully.
The story is a good look at the 1930's and 40's in Australia, its economic difficulties and culture of those who live there. It's also a portrait of a woman who must make difficult choices and what the consequences are. It's the story of a young woman whose career is taken from her, who is so filled with self-pity that she can barely function. It's the story of learning to find a reason to go on. And it's also about the power of love.
The book is well-written and has received excellent reviews from both editors and readers. If you enjoy historical fiction, put it on yout To Read list.