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***** - Weyward




Kate, 2019 Kate flees London – abandoning everything – for Cumbria and Weyward Cottage, inherited from her great-aunt. There, a secret lurks in the bones of the house, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

Violet, 1942 Violet is more interested in collecting insects and climbing trees than in becoming a proper young lady. Until a chain of shocking events changes her life forever.

Altha, 1619 Altha is on trial for witchcraft, accused of killing a local man. Known for her uncanny connection with nature and animals, she is a threat that must be eliminated.

But Weyward women belong to the wild. And they cannot be tamed…



I had just finished reading a historical fiction focusing on the life of a witch which is due to be published in the same month as Weyward, so it seems this is a theme for 2023 fiction!

Weyward tells the story of three ladies who are related to each other and have a link to witchcraft across the centuries. There’s Altha, who was accused of being a witch in the 1600s, Kate who is running away from an abusive relationship in the present day and the childhood story of her great aunt Violet in the 1920s - who suffers a sheltered childhood until she is taken advantage of by a relative. Each character felt realistic and well-drawn and were relatable in their own right. The chapters alternated perspectives between them, but I never rushed through one to get to any of the others – all of the stories were interesting and held my attention. There is also a nice link between them that gets stronger as you read further on.

The witchcraft theme is lightly handled – there is an air of real magic surrounding some of the things they can do but a lot of it relies on knowing the natural world and healing. This means you don’t have to suspend your disbelief too much to enjoy the story. Just a note that it does get quite dark in places with themes of abuse, control and sexual assault. Most of the storylines involve pregnancy as a theme to link them together as well.

Overall, this is Emilia Hart’s debut and with this strong start, she is certainly an author to watch out for in the future! Thank you to NetGalley & Harper Collins UK – Harper Fiction & Borough Press for the chance to read the ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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