Source: eARC courtesy of publisher
Wild Wood is an intriguing story of one family’s existence through the ages. A family with a folklore that is living to ensure their continuity & maybe even prosperity. The novel spans 6 centuries of secrets hidden in a little town by the Scottish borders.
This tale is told from 2 perspectives: Jesse in 1981 and Bayard in 1321. Jesse had recently found out that she was adopted and is in doubt of her identity. She is looking for her birth parents and by several incidents, she got to Hundredfield where it all unfolded. Jesse is likeable enough though I don’t feel there was anything special about her. Her story felt pretty average to me –a bit slow to develop and not one character to really grab me except maybe one minor character. The twist about her family didn’t surprise me one bit either. I could see it coming a long way.
Bayard’s story is the one that appeals to me in this novel. He was a man of war –that was his lot, being the youngest son of three. And yet, in the midst of battle-hardened men, he was considerate and surprisingly, gentle. His is a tale of brutality of the age, of superstition, and also, of love. I was quite happy with this perspective which really is the highlight of this novel for me.
Expectations! It can easily wreck a book for you. I feel that this is what mostly let me down in Wild Wood. It has not got any time travel nor does the time-slip work out to be such. So, there is a bit of “magic” (of folklore) but it didn’t quite grab me. I like the premise of it but I don’t think the origin of it was explored enough –just that it’s there and how what happened in 14th century related to what’s happening now. It turned out to be a pretty average read as it was slow to develop, twists which didn’t catch me by surprise, and my inability to connect with the ‘contemporary’ characters.
Thank you, Simon & Schuster (Australia) for copy of eARC via NetGalley