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Hillwilla

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3.94  ·  Rating details ·  36 ratings  ·  9 reviews
Beatrice Desmond, 55, lives on a remote farm nestled in a deep hollow in southern West Virginia. A native of Boston and a graduate of an Ivy League college, Beatrice is a fish out of water in Seneca County; although she maintains contact with certain friends and family, too often, Beatrice retreats into her work as a translator and editor, or into the bottle of Jack Daniel ...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published September 1st 2014 by Mountain Lake Press (first published January 1st 2014)
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Franny Burd
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
An enjoyable story about an older woman who is bequeathed a llama farm. Beatrice greatly enjoys her solitude, but her solitary lifestyle is disrupted by several characters, mainly a 13-year-old girl who needs a place to live. Enjoyable story, and the llama facts that are interwoven are very interesting. I'll be reading the sequel to see what happens with these engaging characters.
Lana Reigart
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good story

This book was a freebie on one of the book sites. I was drawn to it because of the setting. As a native West Virginian, I was curious. The title was intriguing. The story is of an older woman somewhat depressed by the loss of her best friend. But time and people and critters intervened. The characters are well drawn and the writing insightful. I wanted to get to know these folks better. I was drawn from page to page to see what would develop next. I felt the conclusion was a lit
...more
Debbie Gascoyne
This is a very readable novel, with an interesting setting and well developed characters. It almost falls into the "cosy" category, featuring nice people who are, on the whole, kind to one another, and just a touch of whimsy here and there. It will appeal to readers who liked Fried Green Tomatoes or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

Beatrice Desmond has recently inherited a farm in a remote community in West Virginia. She has been an "outsider" all her life: she grew up poor, but
...more
Jessica Bronder
Dec 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Bea has struggled from humble beginnings to an Ivy League graduate. But she has had enough with society and has moved to the mountains of West Virginia. There she is considered an outsider by the locals, but she could care less. She has her home, her animals for companionship, and a job as a translator and editor.

Then her neighbor Tanner Fordyce tries to convince her to ghostwrite his biography. She reluctantly agrees and then finds herself helping Tanner rescue Clara from a troubled home life.
...more
Jen
Jan 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: con-ficition
Hillwilla by Melanie Forde is listed as literary/contemporary/women's fiction.

Brief description: Beatrice Desmond, 55, lives on a remote farm nestled in a deep hollow in southern West Virginia. A native of Boston and a graduate of an Ivy League college, Beatrice is a fish out of water in Seneca County; although she maintains contact with certain friends and family, too often, Beatrice retreats into her work as a translator and editor, or into the bottle of Jack Daniel’s she maintains nearby. F
...more
Lynn
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
At the onset, this novel appears to be about Beatrice Desmond and her dog, Ralph, who live in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia. This tale begins and ends with serendipity, and in-between, it's really the story of a young girl, Clara, desperate for love and attention and a place to call home, who finds her way into Beatrice's home and heart.

Hilwilla? A friend says of Beatrice, "I believe you are more of a Hill Wilhelmina. Maybe a Hillwilla." "Hillwilla describes someone who walks the w
...more
Kathy
May 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
I received this as an ebook from NetGalley.

I started Hillwilla a couple times before continuing. It is a nice story about (mostly) nice people. Upon finishing the book, I had a satisfied smile thinking about how the characters' issues were resolved. The West Virginia setting was interesting, as were the llamas. The characters were interesting and a little quirky. Their progression through the story was believable and satisfying. This would be a good rainy day read to lift your spirits.
Liz
Feb 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.
This is a pleasant read. At times a little slow paced and the action somewhat unfocused in places, I still enjoyed the time spent with it . The characters were interesting and seemed real; the action seemed right for the quirkiness of the West Virginia setting. This is the type of book that you read on a quiet Sunday afternoon when you just want to drift through a story that touches you.
Anna
Jan 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: giveaway-read
Really enjoyable look at the intersection of several people's lives in a single place. Lots of introspection throughout but no trying to shove morals down my throat. Just a lovely look at a slice of time and feelings.

I won this book as part of a goodreads giveaway.
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Nov 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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For most of her writing career, Melanie Forde ghosted on international security issues. She published her first novel, Hillwilla, in 2014, followed by On the Hillwilla Road in 2015. Her West Virginia trilogy culminates in Reinventing Hillwilla, published in 2018. 2018 also brought forth her Irish-American family saga, Decanted Truths, 20 years in the making.
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