by Emilia Hart
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Pub Date 07 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 21 Mar 2023
INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
An Indie Next March 2023 Pick • A LibraryReads March 2023 Pick • An Amazon "Best Books of the Year So Far" 2023 Pick
"A brave and original debut, Weyward is a spellbinding story about what may transpire when the natural world collides with a legacy of witchcraft." ––Sarah Penner, New York Times bestselling author of The London Séance Society
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.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 576 members
What a wonderful title! It was hard to put down. I have several patrons who read similar titles and I cannot wait to recommend this title to them. The history, the science, and the fullness of the story was beautiful.
What a fast moving and fascinating novel! In Weyward we meet 3 unforgettable women, Kate in 2019 fleeing London, Violet in 1942 during WW2 and Altha in the early 1600;s when witches are punished by death. Throughout the book we learn the very compelling stories of all 3 via letters and. POV and the connection they all have. These strong women are born with a magical gift that they are surely need to deal with dangerous and violent men in their lives.'
The story is driven primarily by Kate, who has fled London for a home left to her by her Aunt. As she hides in the old mansion she finds the letter and other artifacts that she light on her ancestors lives. I loved the pacing and all of the characters. I can;'t say I have a favorite part of a favorite person - I loved it all! If you like stories with multiple timelines and characters, rooting for the underdog or just want a magical story to lose yourself in, Weyward is for you!
I really liked the three different voices who told this story and how they wove around each other to create this family connection. At parts this book was maddening because of the reality that women have had to (and continue to) deal with. Great ending.
This is a wonderful historical fiction read weaving in the stories of three women through the ages. The Weyward women are strong, and each seen as a threat by the men who try to control them. Emilia Hart did a great job telling their stories, and spinning a tale that kept me picking up the book any free moment I had. It is a perfect beach read, or a cozy weekend on the couch.
Gutwrenching. It's like a literary version of Pandora's box - a bunch of evils followed by Hope at the end. Well written, well paced with likeable characters in credible situations. I received this as an ARC from NetGalley and am leaving this review voluntarily.
It's fall time folks and Weyward is just what you need to get you in the spooky season mood.
Pour yourself a pumpkin spiced latte, wrap yourself in a blanket and get ready to meet the Weyward women. Hart weaves a tale that spans several generations of women gifted with supernatural powers. The novel bounces between timelines (1619, 1942, and 2019) and slowly reveals how each woman is connected. The main storyline takes place in the present and follows the story of Kate as she flees an abusive relationship.
With strong themes of female strength, fighting the patriarchy, and of course an appreciation for nature and all things supernatural, this is the perfect read for fall. I actually enjoyed the storylines from the past more than the present, but all weaves together nicely in the end.
Looking forward to reading more work by Hart. Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's press for a free digital copy in exchange for a fair review.
Absolutely loved this book and the journey of the 3 Weyward women and how they all share trauma and life experience despite the years between them. Goes to show we can connect to our past and each other regardless of age and other factors. Each woman's story was fully and beautiful told, this book was not lacking. Enjoyed how the magic/witchcraft was mostly rooted in nature and reality with small hint of supernatural and fantasy. Plot was well paced and also enjoyed the character growth of all three main characters.
Weyward tells the story of three women at different points in history as they face adversities by being "other" and by simply being women in a world of men. I was wary before reading, but I have to say the author knocked this out of the park. The story flows smoothly and there was enough of a mystery to keep me guessing at plot points.
The women are what really drew me in. I connected with Kate instantly because of the relationship she was in and because she was the most modern of the three. Violet and Altha were both relatable in their own ways, but also the most morally complex for me. I'm still not sure I agree with some of the decisions they made, but that's also what made this such a great novel- to wonder about the what ifs of their decisions.
I highly recommend this book for anyone who wants to read about generational trauma and needs a little bit of magic in their life.
I love stories where we get to explore family ties through different generations, and Weyward certainly delivered. We've got Altha in 1619 who lives in a world where unusual women are persecuted and killed. Then we've got Violet in 1942, a girl transitioning into adulthood who has more questions than answers about her maternal side of the family. Finally, we've got Kate in 2019 fleeing from an abusive relationship.
All three of these women owned my heart and I was on the verge of crying so many times. From societal expectations to the suffocating patriarchy, they had to navigate so many difficulties mostly by themselves. One of my favorite things is that the witchcraft isn't done through spells, it's more like a connection to the world surrounding them. Weyward shows how overwhelming it can be for women to simply exist in a world that wasn't built for them, but how they overcame the very things that threatened to bring them down. I genuinely loved this and I'd read it again.
There's no introduction with this one, you jump right in and hit the first page running. This is told by three narrators - one in he 1600s, one in the 1940s, and one in the present time. At first, I didn't really understand the point of Kate's story, but after a few chapters, it all tied together. A steady theme carries this book along the three stories, but it doesn't get bogged down. I liked the little touch of magick combined with nature and the healing properties of the land. I think this author could fill another book with Violet's story as an adult. And I'd probably read it!
I received a copy of this book for my honest review, which I have provided.
This was so well-written! The prose was beautiful and the characters felt real and compelling.
I loved how empowering this book is to women. Despite the terrible things that happened to them before or during the story, it still felt incredibly hopeful. I also appreciated how supportive of each other the women characters were as you don't always get that in fiction.
It's also a great look at how, historically, women have been made out to be witches or monsters just for being different and/or independent. I especially found Altha and her mother's story to be compelling (I'd say more, but spoilers).
If I had any complaints, I'd say that I wish it was longer. I wish we'd had a little more time with the women, especially Violet and Kate (it makes sense that we'd get the amount about Altha that we did—though she was my favorite perspective to read from). I know the author had to balance the three women though, and she did a really good job of that.
Trigger warning for abuse, SA, and sexism. I think these were handled really well and in a respectful way, but they are there and could be upsetting for readers.
I recommend this book for anyone who likes stories of women finding their own power and courage in this world and lifting each other up.
Thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
An interesting tale, of three women, and the actions (usually by men) that shaped them. The time line jumped between generations, and I enjoyed the different timelines, and the mentions of witchcraft. It was a really strong debut and Hart is definitely someone that I will be keeping on my radar.
Altha, a girl accused of witchcraft in the 17th century, Violet, a victim of sexual assault living in the 20th century, and Kate, a woman fleeing her abusive boyfriend in 2019. They are separated by centuries, and the book does a beautiful job of weaving their stories together. I also love that it takes it's name from Shakespeare, since I am a massive Shakespeare nerd, and the name drew me in as well as that gorgeous freaking cover!
The book touches on the very sensitive topic of pregnancy/abortion and rape, which is very interesting to read from different time(s) perspectives. All the thoughts of the characters were written logically and believably - and I definitely respect being able to touch on something that is so divisive and sensitive, elegantly, was an amazing feat!
Dreamy cottages, animal friends, witches, all made up a wonderfully told story spreading generations. I loved Weyward. It was mysterious, engaging, and unique. I cannot wait to promote and buy copies for my friends.
This was a beautiful stories of three women, related through the ages, who all share a power that helps save them from the men who would harm them.
Three different timelines. Three different woman all connected by a magical gift. I truly enjoyed this book, but will admit that the history nerd in me was most attracted to the storylines from the past. The book speaks to the inherent power of women and the battle we continue to fight against ignorance and the patriarchy. "Witch" has always been a term applied to women who didn't fit within societal norms, who were outsiders or wielded power of any kind. The author does a great job of making you feel for each woman and cheer for her as she journeys along her path. And each woman felt distinct and well drawn. A really enjoyable read. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the ARC.