I have so many books checked out right now that I almost skipped this one when it arrived at the library for me. But then I decided to give it a few chapters and immediately, I was totally engrossed. Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman is a dual narrative that follows the life of depression-era Beattie Blaxland and that of her modern-day granddaughter Emma. It’s a wonderfully written story that is both heart-wrenching and triumphant.
Emma’s life is completely upended when her boyfriend leaves her and she suffers a knee injury that abruptly ends her professional ballet career in London. Devastated, she moves back home to Australia where she finds out she has inherited Wildflower Hill, an old sheep farm that her grandmother once owned. Emma had always known her grandmother to be a very successful woman with a loving husband and two children. But her Grandmother Beattie’s life was filled with hardships, secrets, and passions that were buried long ago.
Beattie’s story beings in Scotland where she finds herself pregnant and unwed at only nineteen years old. After her own mother renounces her and her lover betrays her, she finds herself completely alone during a time when unwed mothers were openly shamed and ostracized by society. She manages to not only survive, but after years of adversity, she becomes the wealthy owner of a thriving wool business. Along the way, she endures many hardships that she finds difficult to explain later in life. And so her past life becomes a secret, completely hidden from her family. That is, until Emma goes to Wildflower Hill and starts to piece together the past.
This is a beautifully written story with amazing characters and settings. Beattie’s story is especially compelling. This is one that you will find surprisingly difficult to put down once you start. Look it up at your library and enjoy!