- Paperback: 328 pages
- Publisher: Dundurn (Feb. 24 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1459740203
- ISBN-13: 978-1459740204
- Product Dimensions: 14 x 2 x 21.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 181 g
- Average Customer Review: 28 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #98,588 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wildwood Paperback – Feb 24 2018
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Artfully melds the past and present for a story about homesteading. Likable characters deal with realistic, hair-raising scares and find hard-earned rewards in the wilderness. (Foreword Reviews)
Offer this to city slickers dreaming of a simpler life and readers interested in unspoiled natural beauty. (Booklist)
Reads like a love letter — from a mother to her daughter, from a Canadian to her land, from an author to her ancestors. In Molly Bannister, Elinor Florence has created a modern day Susanna Moodie roughing it in the Northern Alberta bush. The result is riveting, packed full of all the best stuff — peril, mystery, wisdom, laughs, and love. (Angie Abdou, author of In Case I Go)
Elinor Florence’s Wildwood is one of those rare books you linger over the final pages of with melancholy, not wanting her poignant story to end. A well-written, well-researched portrayal of pioneering in the Peace Country with vivid intriguing characters who commune with the earth and are healed by nature. (Corinne Jeffery, bestselling author of the Understanding Ursula trilogy)
The plucky single mother heroine of Wildwood survives extreme weather, wildlife, and rural, off-the-grid isolation in northern Alberta to tell a charming and inspiring story that charts her transformation from milquetoast urban accountant to empowered, self-sufficient farmwoman. Also heartwarming: the old-timey baking – recipes included – and the touch of romance. (Kim Moritsugu, author of The Oakdale Dinner Club)
Elinor Florence’s love and respect for the ‘beautiful savage land’ of northern Alberta comes through loud and clear. Follow Molly and her great-aunt on their homesteading adventures and risk losing your heart to the wilds! (Alice Zorn, author of Five Roses)
Taking this journey with Molly was exciting and delightful. (Literary Hoarders)
What a glorious novel! With flawed and relatable characters, gorgeous description, and a loving but realistic look at a difficult lifestyle, Wildwood satisfies on every level. Through Molly’s modern eyes, we see the fortitude of pioneers in a refreshing way — and see our comfortable and rushed lives in a new way as well. Uplifting and thought-provoking, this is a novel to savor. (Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of The Sea Before Us and the Waves of Freedom series)
Wildwood not only captures the quintessential Canadian struggle against the elements with extraordinary energy, it illuminates what lies in the marrow of life: love, legacy, and the spirit to endure. This is homesteading with high stakes, and Molly Bannister is a heroine who pulls us into her heart and takes us on a journey into our own notions of resilience and courage. (Jennifer Manuel, author of The Heaviness of Things That Float)
A delight from start to finish and it offers a fascinating look at homesteading in the Peace River region. (Susan Juby, award-winning author of The Republic of Dirt)
Everything Florence writes is vividly alive (The Guardian (Charlottetown))See all Product description
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Having previously read Bird’s Eye View by Elinor Florence, I couldn’t wait to read her latest book, Wildwood. There is an incredible amount of research behind Florence’s work and she weaves that research into keen detail like how to prime a hand pump, bake bread in a wood stove, and warm an engine block when you can’t plug it in. For me, it’s those details as seen and experienced through her characters that bring the story to life.
In Wildwood, Florence has created a cast of enduring characters and set them into a beautiful and brutal landscape. She makes you laugh and cry. She makes you sigh in wonder and rage against injustice. If you enjoy strong writing, factual historical detail and a gripping story of perseverance, you’ll love Wildwood.
I pre-ordered Wildwood but couldn’t wait so I also signed up for an advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review.
From Lisette Chatelaine, the empathetic receptionist in the lawyer’s office in Juniper, Alberta, to the lonely 12-year-old from the nearby “reserve” to the good-looking farmer who rents the land, Molly’s relationships, as well as misunderstandings, are fascinating. From the pages of the diary written by Molly’s great-aunt in 1924 comes the irresistible tug of family ties. It becomes painfully evident that challenges women confronted almost 100 years ago aren’t all that different from those that their female descendants face today.
The author draws the reader into the T. Eaton Catalogue house where Molly will live with such precise, pleasing detail that the reader could imagine walking into the parlour to pick up a book she had left there. On a broader scope, Florence’s explicit depictions of Western Canada homesteading practices, plus insight into the pressures of modern-day farmers, comprise other thought-provoking secondary themes.
Wildwood by Elinor Florence is a delightful read in the same class as the 1935 classic Little House on the Prairie.
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