Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Audiobook Length: 10 hours and 51 minutes
First Published: 2023
In 2019, Kate flees London and her abusive partner to settle in the broken-down Weyward cottage. Inherited from an aunt, Weyward cottage seems to be hiding secrets that go back centuries. In 1619, Altha is on trial for witchcraft; her extensive knowledge of the natural world has the villagers on edge. In 1942, Violet feels trapped in her family’s crumbling estate, searching for any clues to better know her deceased mother. Weaving three stories together, Weyward tells of the transformative power of female resilience.
Reminding me of Kate Morton and The Lost Apothecary, I can see why Weyward won the Goodreads award for best historical fiction. Hart beautifully weaves together three generations of Weyward women; adding witchy vibes and a gorgeous connection to the natural world in each timeline. Each story holds a unique atmosphere but all add to the feminist tone of the novel, showcasing the fierce determination each woman must hold through her adversities caused by the fear and limitations placed on them by men.
I am a Weyward, and wild inside.
2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great-aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she suspects that her great-aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.
1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. When Altha was a girl, her mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence of witchcraft is laid out against Altha, she knows it will take all her powers to maintain her freedom.
1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family’s grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.
Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart’s Weyward is an astonishing debut, and an enthralling novel of female resilience.
About Emilia Hart
Emilia Hart is a British-Australian lawyer and author of the novel Weyward. Born in Syndey, she currently lives in London.