Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

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Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

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Buy Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman at Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Category: General Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Reviewer: Susmita Chatto
Reviewed by Susmita Chatto
Summary: A gripping saga spanning decades and miles, interweaving the stories of two women who overcame misfortune to rebuild their lives.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 400 Date: November 2012
Publisher: Quercus
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781780877082

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'tis the season to be…thoroughly depressed if you're anything like me – can't bear the cold, the grey, the forced jollity. Whatever book I pick up at this time of year needs to be a highly effective escapist tonic, otherwise, there's a good chance I won't even finish it. So I'd like to thank Kimberley Freeman for the most all-encompassing, escapist and enjoyable novel I can remember reading in winter; something tells me I'll revisit this one a few times.

The book has instant impact with well-drawn characters, illustrative writing and scene-setting with pinpoint accuracy. Freeman is a sophisticated writer worth studying; everything we need to know is seamlessly woven in. Also seamlessly done is the transition between times; this cross-generational saga contrasts two women with completely different lives, but it’s never jarring to switch between the two. From Glasgow 1929, with Beattie Blaxland finding her life is about to take an unwelcome turn, to London in the present day, with Emma Blaxland-Hunter finding the same, there is an enormous gap, but Freeman fills it with an absorbing tale to link the two women together.

Freeman’s descriptions are so acute, I winced at some of the sufferings of the characters, who have certainly undergone their fair share of hardships. It’s a fascinating study of how family can treat each other, of how people who claim to love another can behave – and also a study of what money and property can come to mean in emotional terms.

As with all good sagas, there are plenty of ups and downs and the characters are easily relatable and the storyline stays in the perfect arc of drama. It is very much a saga but if overcoming struggles and rags to riches are the sorts of things you enjoy on a manky winter evening, this book is definitely for you. For all the pain and suffering, there are uplifting moments in equal measure.

This is also a novel where nothing is wasted; I’m not going to say it’s economically written because I don’t want to imply that anything is sparse. But everything is delightfully relevant; it’s not one of those books where you could skimp on paragraphs. Everything is important and this is another achievement for this novel – amongst all the other compliments!

I’m already looking forward to Freeman’s next book. This is a cosy winter essential and would be a great Christmas gift for anyone who enjoys a good saga.

If this book appeals then you might also enjoy The History Room by Eliza Graham and Lighthouse Bay by Kimberley Freeman.

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Buy Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
Buy Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman at Amazon.com.

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