Book Reviews

Book Review: Weyward

By Emilia Hart

Publication Date: March 7, 2023

336 Pages

2019:  Kate flees an abusive relationship and takes refuge in a cottage near Lancashire she inherited from her great-aunt; a woman she only met once as a child.  But she’ll take any port in a storm to escape her husband.  Especially since she’s pregnant.  She can’t allow him to know about their child, or she’ll never be free of him.  

1942:  Violet is kept inside her father’s estate, never permitted to leave.  She only has her brother for company when he’s home from school.  She’s nothing like her sibling or father, but no one will talk about her mother, except that she was strange.  Perhaps insane.  Is that why Violet’s father dislikes her so?  But if she’s never allowed to leave the grounds, how will she ever make her own dreams of getting a real education and actually living come true?

1619: Altha is the town’s healer in a time when similar women are being hunted and convicted of witchcraft for the same gift, or less, all over England.  Her mother’s dying wish was that Altha hide her gifts to stay safe.  But when she sees her childhood friend being abused, how can she stand by and do nothing?

“Weyward” interpreted by Wombo Dream

Three time periods featuring women separated by generations but bound together by family blood.  Not only that, but by legacy witchcraft.  Add in themes of empowerment, overcoming abuse, and self-sufficiency, and there is a whole lot to like in this book.  I was really excited to read this one and in some ways, I wasn’t disappointed.  Each storyline felt fresh, even though the themes ran fairly parallel and each had about the same character arc.  They may not have felt similar because the circumstances of each woman’s life was radically different, even though they all led to essentially the same set of problems.

But something didn’t click for me.  This is one of those reviews where I can’t quite put my finger on why this book left me lukewarm.  The only thing I can point to is the voice, or lack of one.  Nothing quite grabbed me.  I enjoyed the plot and the setting.  I was interested in the story.  But I could see the outcome of all except the 1619 storyline well before it ended and none of the characters touched me.  I could never quite connect to them; any of them.  Usually with multiple storylines there’s at least one character I identify with or find myself footing for.  That didn’t happen in this case.

I hate to give reviews where I can’t pinpoint what didn’t work for me.  Anyone who’s read my reviews knows I can usually point out exactly where the novel went off track but for this one, there wasn’t anything wrong with it.  It just didn’t excite me.

Final rating:  3.5/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐+

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing the ARC ebook.  I’ve left my review honestly and voluntarily.

Until next time, thank you for visiting.

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