Marzie's Reviews > Wildwood

Wildwood by Elinor Florence
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bookshelves: arc-net-galley

Wildwood, Elinor Florence's second novel, tells the tale of Molly Bannister, a single mother in a serious bind after losing her job. Molly is unexpectedly the recipient of a bequest of her Great Aunt Mary Margaret's farm in a remote area of Alberta, near the town of Juniper. The only catch is that in order to have the land titled in her name, she must live on the property for a full calendar year. With her young daughter Bridget tow, Molly pulls up stakes in Arizona and moves to Wildwood. The story of her year is intertwined with the journal of her Great Aunt, Mary Margaret Bannister Lee, recounting her first year of married life living with her husband George Albert Lee. Mary Margaret, born in County Cork, Ireland, had been visiting with friends when she met George at a dance in Juniper and they married. The hard life of homesteading in northern Alberta in the 1920's is recounted and heartens Molly's stay through a number of harrowing events. She and Bridget survive the harsh winter as they struggle with food security, survive being stranded in a snowstorm, and even a terrifying encounter with a grizzly and her cub.

Florence, who hails from Saskatchewan, has a clear love of the remote Canadian wilderness and that shines through. Her character depictions, while perhaps not as polished as those in Kristin Hannah's recently released The Great Alone, a book to which American reviewers are likely to compare Wildwood, are engaging. The story itself, including a subplot with a romance, was a bit predictable, I still enjoyed the book because of the interplay between Mary Margaret's life and her namesake Molly's. I was initially taken aback by Florence's depiction of a somewhat illiterate Cree youth who lives near Wildwood, but in the end, the character is drawn as so smart in all the ways Molly isn't. An interesting read!

I received a Digital Review Copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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Reading Progress

January 3, 2018 – Shelved
January 3, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read
January 8, 2018 – Shelved (Paperback Edition)
January 8, 2018 – Shelved as: to-read (Paperback Edition)
March 12, 2018 – Started Reading
March 18, 2018 – Shelved as: arc-net-galley
March 18, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Laura I agree with you the way that the local Cree child was, but glad how it turned out with her as well.


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