Menu Home

Book Review: Weyward – Emilia Hart 

What a way to start the new year off! I’ve always been rather fond of witches and back in the day devoured Anne Rice’s Mayfair Witches series (long before the current reboot on screen). This is not a tale of dark witches but the story of three strong and resourceful women in England over a period of 500 years.

In 2019 Kate discovers that she is pregnant and flees from her controlling and abusive boyfriend in London. Her great aunt had left her a small cottage in Cumbria in her will and Kate begins the trek up to Weyward Cottage before he can follow her. She leaves behind everything that could be used to trace her and begins a journey to discover who this aunt was who left her all of her worldly belongings.

In wartime Britain, 1942, Violet is more interested in climbing trees and making friends with the insects, birds and animals than she is in becoming a young lady. Sometimes she thinks that her father really doesn’t like her very much and her only occasional friend is her brother. He is often away at school so she is largely left to her own devices. A visit from a distant relation changes Violet’s life forever and a shocking chain of events unfolds.

It is 1619 and Altha is on trial for witchcraft. She had followed her mother’s instructions about staying under the radar as much as she could but sometimes people are just out to get you. She is accused of killing a local man, the husband of her childhood friend. Her way with medicines and her relationships with all kinds of animals seem to be the final nails in her coffin. The priest and the doctor have testified. Will she face the ultimate sentence?

These three stories are interwoven together in Weyward creating a multi generational tale of how society deals with unusual independent women. It is a haunting tale of how a community continues to deal with things that cannot readily be understood. The women here are all struggling to be useful members of their own locality and are largely misunderstood with an affinity towards green, natural magic rather than the dark arts. It is an exhilarating read and one of the best debut novels that I’ve read for a long time. A story that stays with you long after you have turned the final page.

Supplied by Net Galley and The Borough Press in exchange for an honest review.

UK Publication date: Feb 2 2023. 381 pages.

Categories: 5 Stars Book Review

Tagged as:


Prolific reader, enthusiastic theatre and movie-goer and ex-Olivier Awards judge who spent twenty years working in the music industry in London. Sharing my house with a gorgeous cockapoo called Harry who has taken over completely.
I love sharing my favourite books with friends - nearly always spoiler-free as I hate reading a synopsis of the whole book in other reviews.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: