I've been waiting for another book by Posie Graeme-Evans ever since the wonderful Island House came out a few years ago. It didn't matter that I was in the throes of mid-terms at school; this was my link to sanity! And I have to say, Wild Wood delivered.
Wild Wood takes place in the summer of 1981, just before Charles and Diana's huge wedding in London. Jesse Marley has arrived in London from Australia with one mission: to find her birth parents. This decision began back in Australia, when applying for a passport revealed the truth: Jesse had two birth certificates. Unable to cope with the disappointment of her parents never telling her she was adopted, she leaves for London. While in London, Jesse finds out she was born in Jedburgh, a small village in the borderlands between Scotland and England. Before she can make plans to travel there, she's hit by a motorbike and lands in the hospital with a fractured skull and broken bones. Floating in and out of consciousness, Jesse sees and hears things that make no sense. Is she imaging them, or are they real? Her doctor, Rory Brandon, asks Jesse why she drew those drawings of a castle. Since her right hand is unable to function in a sling, Jesse thinks it's impossible. Yet Rory realizes the drawings are of a place he knows very well: Hundredfeld.
Built by a Norman warlord hundreds of years before, Hundredfeld is still occupied by a descendant of the Dieudonne family. And Rory grew up at Hundredfeld, his mother a servant on the property. What's the connection between Jesse and Hundredfeld? Who is her birth mother?
Jesse travels to Hundredfeld with Rory in order to uncover the mystery of the drawings. She finds much more than she bargains for--and it's all connected to the land, and Hundredfeld's long history.
This is a dual history novel; you travel between 1981 and 1321, when Hundredfeld's family of brothers: Maugris, Bayard, and Godefroi, come together at Hundredfeld to battle those who wish to see them destroyed. Godefroi's new wife, the Lady Flore, has many believing she's evil and a witch. Lady Flore has an otherwordly feel about her; is she there to destroy or save?
This book was great! Just what I needed to read in March. Both stories are compelling, and yes, they do tie together. The Scottish land, superstitions, folklore, and family mysteries all play together nicely and keep you turning the pages. At first you're a bit confused, but stay with it, and it will all become clear.
If you want to read Posie Graeme-Evans' other fantastic novel, The Island House, click here for my review.
Fans of Susanna Kearsley, Diana Gabaldon, and Mary Stewart will love both novels. A bit of history, a bit of folklore, a bit of romance, and a reminder that where we come from is deeply imbedded in our psyche and shapes us all.
Rating: 8/10 for a unique story combining local history, Scottish folklore, and Charles and Diana's wedding. Yes, all three.
Available in paperback and e-book.