December 29, 2012

A Tasmanian Adventure

Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

Release Date: August 2011
Publisher: Simon & Schuster | Touchstone
Pages: 544 pages
Source & Format: Gift; Paperback
Goodreads | Amazon

Summary (from Amazon)
Emma, a prima ballerina in London, is at a crossroads after an injured knee ruins her career. Forced to rest and take stock of her life, she finds that she’s mistaken fame and achievement for love and fulfillment. Returning home to Australia, she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and a strange inheritance: a sheep station in isolated rural Australia. Certain she has been saddled with an irritating burden, Emma prepares to leave for Wildflower Hill to sell the estate.

Beattie also found herself at a crossroads as a young woman, but she was pregnant and unwed. She eventually found success—but only after following an unconventional path that was often dangerous and heartbreaking. Beattie knew the lessons she learned in life would be important to Emma one day, and she wanted to make sure Emma’s heart remained open to love, no matter what life brought. She knew the magic of the Australian wilderness would show Emma the way.

Thoughts on Wildflower Hill
Wildflower Hill gets off to a slow start, but I was completely hooked once I get in to the story. The novel ties together the stories of a young woman and her grandmother. Neither woman seems like they'd be very sympathetic - both are flawed and selfish. But they quickly grew on me, and I just had to know the outcome of both of their stories.

Emma, the granddaughter, is a world-renowned ballerina. It's her passion, her entire life, until a fall down the stairs ruins her dreams for the future. She'll never again be able to dance. Add to that a breakup with her boyfriend and very few real friends outside of dancing. When she returns home to her parents, she finds out that she's inherited a sheep ranch in Tasmania from her late grandmother. She decides a break - time away - is just what she needs.

While clearing out the contents of the house, she starts to piece together the puzzle of her grandmother's life. That's when the story begins flashing back to Beattie, her grandmother. Young, pregnant, and unwed, she must make a new life for herself when she's thrown out of her parent's home.

I don't want to say anything about what happens next because so much of the tension in this book comes from the way the story unravels and the puzzle pieces fall in to place. Beattie's heartbreak and Emma's discovery of it made me fall in love with this family saga.

These are flawed characters, but I grew to love them. I also was crazy about the Tasmanian countryside. Freeman did a wonderful job on the setting - it played such a huge role in the book. Wildflower Hill was a compulsive read, even at over 500 pages. I will definitely be picking up this book again - just to relive the Australian magic.

So Quotable
“There are two types of women in the world, Beattie, those who do things and those who have things done to them.” 

10 comments:

  1. Lovely review! I haven't heard of this before now but I love the sound of the Australian settings (not too many books are set in Tassie!)

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    1. I love that I got to read something Australian that you hadn't heard of yet - and I really hope you get a chance to read this! I know it's not YA, but I think you'd like it. It was lovely!

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  2. Like I mentioned to you earlier, this book appeals to me so much. The cover is beautiful and the story sounds lovely. I'm really intrigued with Beattie's story - I want to know more about her and the life she has to make for herself. Great review. You've really got me curious about this!

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    1. Yay! I love when I write a review that has you interested in a book you might not have found/considered before. It makes my heart so happy! That's how I feel about when you write about fantasy books - I suddenly want to read all these things I hadn't be interested in before!

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  3. I am so glad you like it! I was captivated! Such a lovely story, with some heart break. Miss you!

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    1. It was a wonderful book - I totally agree! Glad you liked it, too :)

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  4. Beautiful cover! Sounds very interesting. I'll have to read the first few chapters when I'm at the book store and then decide. Sounds promising though! Thanks for putting this on my radar!

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    1. I love the cover, too! Definitely check it out if you find it in the bookstore. It was a lovely read! Just know that it really picks up once it jumps back in time, which doesn't happen right away. Hope you enjoy :)

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  5. I love the title! It evokes a lovely image in my mind, and it makes me curious about this story. I also think it's a major bonus that one of the characters is a ballerina, even though her career seems to be in shambles because of her accident. Lots of things that have me curious about this one - thanks for sharing!

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    1. I loved the title, too. And the yellow cover drew me in because I don't see many yellow covers (at least that I can think of). I'll be interested to see what you think if you get a chance to read it!

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