Weyward by Emilia Hart

March 6th, 2023 Kimberly Review 18 Comments

6th Mar

Narrated by Aysha Kala, Helen Keeley, & Nell Barlow, Weyward by Emilia Hart lent itself perfectly to the audio format as the author shares the story of three women, over five centuries, all with one secret. Hints of magical realism bring the vivid prose to life and the three natures help us traverse time as we learn about the Weyward women.

Weyward by Emilia Hart
by Emilia Hart
Narrator: Aysha Kala, Helen Keeley, Nell Barlow
Length: 10 hours and 51 minutes
Genres: Paranormal
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon | Audible *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star
Narration: 5 cups Speed: 1.5x

I am a Weyward, and wild inside.

2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.

1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family's grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.

Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart's Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.

historical Magical Realism paranormal well written

Weyward was a delightful tale filled with witchcraft, vile men and strong, stubborn women who rise up and survive. Each woman has a distinct voice and a tragic tale they must overcome.

The tale begins with Kate in London, who finds herself isolated and controlled by an abusive husband. She tries to avoid pregnancy, but when it happens, she knows she must flee. Fate brings her an escape when she inherits Weyward cottage, in Crow’s Beck, a remote Cumbrian village from her eccentric aunt Violet. Here she will build a life for herself and her child. It is also here that she discovers the secrets of the Weyward women.

In 1619, Altha Weyward is put on trial for witchcraft. We learn of life, the trial, and the events surrounding it. If you’ve ever been fascinated by the horrors during James I reign and the witchcraft trials, Altha’s story will pull you in and hold you until the end.

Then we, have Violet’s story in 1942. Here we meet young Violet, her brother Harold and their controlling father as Violet’s life is forever changed one fate full summer. Filled with magic and a better understanding of the Weyward women and what they endured at the hands of men, we learn what happened to Lizzy, Violet’s mother when she married an ambitious man.

The story is told in Kate’s time as she discovers information about her ancestors, through letters and journals. We are pulled back in time and watch Kate transform as she gains knowledge and an understanding of the power she wields. From the atmospheric cottage, to the watching crows, I felt for these women, encouraged them and grieved for the way men betrayed them.

At just under eleven hours, I admit I could not set this down and kept resetting the sleep timer for just another thirty minutes and resuming as soon as I had awakened. I am so glad the publisher provided three narrators. Aysha Kala, Helen Keeley, & Nell Barlow did a wonderful job of capturing each women’s personality and period. It helped with the transition from past to present and allowed me to follow the flow of the story.

A brilliant tale perfect for fans of magical realism, witches and enthralling tales. The perfect audiobook to enjoy with a warm cup of tea as March makes way for April showers.

Amazon | Audible

About Emilia Hart

Emilia Hart

Emilia Hart is a British-Australian writer. She was born in Sydney and studied English Literature and Law at the University of New South Wales before working as a lawyer in Sydney and London. Emilia is a graduate of Curtis Brown Creative’s Three Month Online Novel Writing Course and was Highly Commended in the 2021 Caledonia Novel Award. Her short fiction has been published in Australia and the UK. She lives in London

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

18 Responses to “Weyward by Emilia Hart”

  1. Wendy

    I must read this one. I put it on my TBR and will check the library. Wonderful review, Kimberly. I like the strong women and the magical realism