Friday, January 20, 2012
Wildflower Hill by Kimberly Freeman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
SPANNING THREE GENERATIONS AND HALF THE WORLD, WILDFLOWER HILL IS A SWEEPING, ROMANTIC, AND COMPELLING STORY OF TWO WOMEN WHO SHARE A LEGACY OF SECRETS, HEARTBREAK, COURAGE, AND LOVE.
Emma, a prima ballerina in London, is at a crossroads after an injured knee ruins her career. Forced to rest and take stock of her life, she finds that she’s mistaken fame and achievement for love and fulfillment. Returning home to Australia, she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death and a strange inheritance: a sheep station in isolated rural Australia. Certain she has been saddled with an irritating burden, Emma prepares to leave for Wildflower Hill to sell the estate.
Beattie also found herself at a crossroads as a young woman, but she was pregnant and unwed. She eventually found success—but only after following an unconventional path that was often dangerous and heartbreaking. Beattie knew the lessons she learned in life would be important to Emma one day, and she wanted to make sure Emma’s heart remained open to love, no matter what life brought. She knew the magic of the Australian wilderness would show Emma the way.
Wildflower Hill is a compelling, atmospheric, and romantic novel about taking risks, starting again, and believing in yourself. It’s about finding out what you really want and discovering that the answer might be not at all what you’d expect.
I read this book as the January selection for our book club. I had never heard of it before, but it was suggested by one of our members. It's the story of a professional ballerina, Emma, who lives in London and gets injured and cannot dance anymore, and her grandmother, Beattie, who leaves her a homestead in Australia. Emma goes to Australia to check out the place and discovers many remarkable things about her grandmother's life that she didn't know. Beattie had quite a life. She was very independent and was put down and picked herself back up several times. The way she handled the things that happened to her was inspiring. Emma went through a period of self-discovery herself and turned her life around so that she cared more about other people and was less self-centered. The book went back and forth with sections about Beattie, then sections about Emma. It moved along and was never dull or sluggish. There was always something happening. The things that happened were predictable in a sense...there were no big twists...and the ending was satisfying. I would have liked to have had one more page though to experience the final reaction. You'll know what that means when you read the book!