The Wilderwomen

A Novel

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Pub Date 15 Nov 2022 | Archive Date 29 Nov 2022


"Exquisitely drawn characters imbue Lang’s unconventional plot with verisimilitude and heart, inspiring readers to ponder whether the world is stranger and more beautiful than it appears. Effervescent, ethereal, and suffused with wonder." — Kirkus (starred review)

"Lang’s melancholy, atmospheric writing sets the perfect tone as the Wilder sisters unravel the mystery. The result is a cozy supernatural outing perfect for an autumn night." —Publisher's Weekly

Ohioana Book Award finalist Ruth Emmie Lang returns with a new cast of ordinary characters with extraordinary abilities in The Wilderwomen.

Five years ago, Nora Wilder disappeared. The older of her two daughters, Zadie, should have seen it coming, because she can literally see things coming. But not even her psychic abilities were able to prevent their mother from vanishing one morning.

Zadie’s estranged younger sister, Finn, can’t see into the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, so good that she remembers not only her own memories, but the echoes of memories other people have left behind. On the afternoon of her graduation party, Finn is seized by an “echo” more powerful than anything she’s experienced before: a woman singing a song she recognizes, a song about a bird…

When Finn wakes up alone in an aviary with no idea of how she got there, she realizes who the memory belongs to: Nora.

Now, it’s up to Finn to convince her sister that not only is their mom still out there, but that she wants to be found. Against Zadie’s better judgement, she and Finn hit the highway, using Finn’s echoes to retrace Nora’s footsteps and uncover the answer to the question that has been haunting them for years: Why did she leave?

But the more time Finn spends in their mother’s past, the harder it is for her to return to the present, to return to herself. As Zadie feels her sister start to slip away, she will have to decide what lengths she is willing to go to find their mother, knowing that if she chooses wrong, she could lose them both for good.

"Exquisitely drawn characters imbue Lang’s unconventional plot with verisimilitude and heart, inspiring readers to ponder whether the world is stranger and more beautiful than it appears...

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ISBN 9781250246912
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Average rating from 495 members

Featured Reviews

The Wilderwomen reads like a general fiction that’s peppered with sci-fi, mixed with a heaping of mystery & a dash of coming of age that’s all rolled together with a handful of colorful characters to create one of the most unique books I’ve ever read.
This book involea two sisters with opposite personalities & extraordinary abilities who go on a road trip full of adventures to find their lost mother & hopefully solve the mystery in their history.
Both sisters, who are on the precipice of life-changing events, decide to revisit their complex past as the search for answers to the questions from years past.
It alternates between the past & present as the sisters try to solve the mystery of their mom’s disappearance from years earlier.
The beginning of the book felt more like general fiction, which is outside my typical genres & my ADHD brain struggled a bit getting into it. However, once I got into the story, my curiously grew until I finished this book in one day.
It’s full of family, both the drama & the love that comes with it. This book takes you on an unusual adventure & I enjoyed the trip.
Extra things I loved: there was a Blanche Golden Girls reference.
At one point, there’s “talking” trees, which sounds like it would be unbelievable but it was simultaneously amusing, endearing & heart-warming.

Thank you so much to NetGalley & St. Martin’s Press for this arc.
I am posting my review to my Goodreads right away. I will post my Amazon review after publication in November of 2022 as well as my Instagram & TikTok reviews closer to publication

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This is likely the most interesting book I have read in quite a long time. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was quickly drawn in and had to keep reading to find out what happened next. Echos, psychic visions, and hearing voices, it almost sounds like mental illness at times. It’s a lot to take in, but yet it comes together so well in the telling of the story that you can’t seem to put down.

Settle into a comfy spot with a drink and read this one. You may plow right through it as it’s a page turner.

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This book was so unique! It took me a little while to settle into the world and familiarize myself with the characters, but once I did the story took off. To sum it all up it was a fast-paced, heartfelt, powerful, thought-provoking, and a deeply moving story that was hard for me to put down.I think this book is going to be big!

A special thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press & Wednesday Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang is a wonderful fantasy novel that has magic, family, fiction, and kept me entertained throughout.

This is definitely something that is out of my usual genre, but I enjoyed this dive into science fiction/fantasy thread because the narrative is also about family, love, forgiveness, acceptance, and finding happiness amongst the obstacles, disappointments, and difficulties in life (realistic and magical alike).

I enjoyed seeing the complicated relationship between sisters Zadie and Finn. Add in some mystery, magic, and suspense, and the reader ends up with an engaging story.

Recommend for anyone that likes fantasy and fiction.

4/5 stars

Thank you NG and St. Martin’s Press for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion.

I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication on 11/15/22.

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I loved this book so much! I stayed up late, reading into the wee hours because I couldn't bear to put the book down. I was saddened to turn the final page and find that I was done.

I was totally entranced in this tale right from the very beginning.
The characters I couldn't get enough of.
Lang delivers an absolutely beautifully written, appealing, and magical read here with a storyline that will hold you captive till the very last page, and enchanting characters that you won’t soon forget.
It is a beautiful, charming story, full of uniqueness, love, magic, and possibilities.

St. Martin Press,
Thank You for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!
I will post my review closer to pub date.

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The Wilderwomen is such a beautiful story of love between sisters who are very different. I love the nuance in the two sisters' personalities and how they were reflected in their special abilities was really well done. I love a story about generational magic and the things that are inherited vs the things that are learned and I loved seeing this reflected in Finn and Zadie and their mother, Nora. There are light moments and tears and afterward, i called my sisters.

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This was a very different story, but in the best possible way.

Two sisters travel across the country searching for their mother after years apart. Add in some reading/feeling the memories of others and psychic abilities, Zadie and Finn work together through their shared painful past.

While the characters’ abilities are important to the plot, the sibling and mother relationship was not cheapened by the supernatural aspect. Really enjoyed it.

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The Wilderwoman was an incredibly magical and an intriguing atmospheric novel. I enjoyed the characters and their magical abilities, and it was a quick read. I found the writing to be engaging and entertaining; I had an enjoyable time reading this and it held my attention the entire way through that I finished it within the day! I enjoyed every page and thought that the plot/story was very unique. Would recommend to anyone!

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Mesmerizing and Captivating are the two words that come to mind when trying to describe this read . A story of two sisters pulled apart when their mother disappeared , coming together years later to find her , only these sisters are not ordinary , or normal by any standard , these girls have abilities to see the future and read the past. This story draws you in , I have a new appreciation for some magical elements that were introduced to me that I have not come across before.i have cried , laughed and felt what these sisters felt on their journey, I would recommend all readers to take step into this reality as well .

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“How do you live in the present if your present is someone else’s past?”

This is the question that Zadie and Finn find themselves asking as they embark on a search for their mother, who disappeared without a trace five years ago.

The Wildwomen is a perfect blend of some slight sci-fi/paranormal themes (seeing the past, the future, and other types of sixth senses) with a beautifully written story about sisters reconnecting and finding out how to harness the gifts they were born with.

Ruth Emmie Lang has her own gift of descriptions and it truly felt like I was with Z and N on every step of their road trip. I could not put this book down once I started it and finished it in a sitting.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Publishing for the ARC of this. I can’t wait for it to be released this fall so I can recommend it to everyone.

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My first book to read by this author but I cannot wait to read more. This story and the characters will stay with you long after you finish the book. It's uniquely written and its magical characters keep you turning pages as you become lost in the story. Highly recommend!

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A very moving and emotional ride about the bond between women, healing generational trauma, discovering your roots, and spreading your wings as you grow into adulthood. It’s poetic, magical, bittersweet, and I loved every minute of it,

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This is my first book from Ruth Emmie Lang and it definitely will not be my last. The adventures of the Wilder women kept me wanting more and more I could not wait to “solve the mystery”. I was equally interested in the storyline of every character large or small.

This ARC was given to me by NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

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I don't normally enjoy multiple timelines in a novel, but Ruth Emmie Lang masterfully and seemlessly weaves together the narratives of Nora Wilder's disappearance and her daughters' search for her five years later, carefully cultivating reader's awareness and compelling you to keep reading, keep searching, keep hoping. I eagerly await the day I can hold a physical copy of this text in my hands and let my mind soar again with Zadie and Finn on their journey.

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Ruth Emmie Lang conjured up an amazing cast of characters, both with powers needed to help solve the mystery of what happened to their mother. So many twists and turns, I had a hard time putting it down. If you love a good mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat, this one is for you.

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I had high expectations for this book as I love Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstances. And it did not disappoint! It is a magical story about a mother and her 2 daughters and how they are all trying to find their path. When Finn and Zadie’s mother disappears the sisters can’t seem to move forward with their lives until they know some answers. An adventure and a stripping down of their relationship ensues. With help from strangers and friends along the way, it takes them on a road trip that will change their lives.
Filled with beautiful nature and how some can connect with it, a story that reads like a song, unfolds.
An absolute must read by an amazing story teller, Ruth Emmie Lang.

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I absolutely fell in love with this book and pretty much every character within it. It was definitely a page turner and I loved finding out what was going to happen next or at least trying to do so. The book is so well written.

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This is one of the most unique books I have read in a long time. It mixes genres in a way I've never seen!

I read this book in one sitting, it drew me in and kept me reading until the early morning hours, work and plans be damned

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This was such a lovely story. Zadie and Finn’s relationship is such a wonderful depiction of sisterhood and how strong that bond can be, even if you are separated for a long time. This has a whimsical feel to it, and these girls search for their mom was beautiful and captivating. I’m definitely looking forward to purchasing a copy when it releases!

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I absolutely loved this book about the journey of sisters, Zadie and Finn, who go on a trip to find their mom who disappeared years ago. I loved the supernatural aspects of the book. It was just enough to make the book mystical, but not completely unrealistic. I found this book fast-paced and moving; and I was turning pages so fast just to find out what happens at the end. I would definitely read more books by Ruth Emmie Lang!

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This is a book that will stay with me for quite some time. Beautifully told, this book will have me thinking and talking about it for years to come.

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A lovely and magical story. After reading and loving Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance, I was so excited to read The Wilderwomen. I read it in one day because I couldn’t put it down. Magical realism is a favorite genre of mine and this author is brilliant. Five magical stars from me!

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an advanced copy of this wonderful novel. This is my honest review.

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This was such a beautiful surprise! This was my first dive into a Ruth Emmie Lang book, and it was an anticipated read that went far beyond my expectations. Lang created such a magical story that captured the strength of femininity and the bond of family within an alluring world of mysticism and magic. The story telling was phenomenal and left me satisfied when I finally finished! Between the ever-turning plots, the authentic relationships between compelling characters, and the realistic world of magic - this was a lyrical gift that was difficult to put down.

I really loved the multiple perspectives, as it kept the story fresh throughout the entire book and allowed me to become invested in the growth and development of the sisters. Lang did an exceptional job with creating women who were complex, had substance, and also had the opportunity to grow with the reader. The interplay between family, mystery and fantasy was such a smart combination.

Thank you to Lang, NetGalley, and St. Martin’s Press for providing me with the ARC of this book. I have already pre-ordered a hardcopy for my home library, and am so looking forward to encouraging my circle to read this one!

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A beautiful and powerful story about family and unresolved trauma that centers women and their relationship with one another. I absolutely loved how the mom was represented through bird imagery throughout the story and the sister's relationship was represented through time. Zadie was the future and wanted to move on and Finn was the past and couldn't let go. As they're on their trip they meet other people and we learn their stories, similar to Into The Wild. It had a perfect combination of magical-realism, mystery-thriller, and women's fiction. I felt this could be taught in school and picked apart for it's meanings. There were so many layers to this story and I'm just amazed by how much I loved it.

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I loved everything about this book. Lang expertly wove a tale of family who was torn apart. I loved the magical realism, the relationship of the sisters, the road trip to find their mom, and the writing. ​I have absolutely no complaints about this book. It was fun, heart-wrenching at times, happy at others. I couldn’t put it down. Lang’s writing kept me engrossed in this story the whole time. The only bad part, was that it had to end. This book gets 5 stars from me.

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Gosh I love Lang’s knack for heartfelt magical realism with the perfect balance of lighthearted and tender. The Wilderwomen is adventurous with a touching exploration of love between mother and daughter(s).

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The Wilderwomen is a beauty. Its speculative backbone holds strong in a quiet way throughout the entire book, giving stability to the emotional arcs of the main characters, two sisters named Zadie and Finn who experience the world in a unique way. Lang's prose is rich without being verbose, and is reflective of a deep love of nature. I really found myself savoring this one, and I wouldn't be surprised to find my way back to it in the future.

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I have been anticipating Ruth Emmie Lang’s next novel ever since I read Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance a few years ago. I was beyond thrilled to receive an e-arc of The Wilderwomen and it did not disappoint. The story follows two estranged sisters on their search for their mother who is missing. They cross paths with a commune of people who have a sixth sense and begin to uncover secrets about their mother and ultimately themselves. This novel was a wonderful combination of magical realism and mystery and I enjoyed every minute of it.

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Could not put this down! I’m hooked by anything mildly “magical” or “mystical”, so the plot line appealed to me from the very beginning. Zadie and Finn’s backstory, relationship, and ultimately their love for each other and their lost mother, Nora, really shine in this story. It’s not “magic” as you would typically think of it, although there is that. It’s the magic of deeply rooted connections that have been fractured coming back together after a long time and it’s the magic of opening yourself up to other people and accepting yourself and gifts and being vulnerable to others.

The Wilder women stole my heart in this one!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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