Wild­wood

Eli­nor Florence

Foreword Reviews - - Reviews Adult Fiction -

Dun­durn (MARCH) Soft­cover $19.99 (328pp) 978-1-4597-4020-4

This is a ro­mance, but it’s a ro­mance about soli­tude and heal­ing and mak­ing a home.

It’s per­fect tim­ing when Ari­zona-born Molly Ban­nis­ter learns that she’s in­her­it­ing Wild­wood, a farm in Ju­niper, Al­berta, the land of the nine-month win­ter. One hitch: the off-the grid farm­house will be hers only af­ter she and her daugh­ter rough it there for a year. Broke and root­less, Molly ac­cepts the chal­lenge.

Ju­niper of­fers a small cast of hardy and col­or­ful char­ac­ters who pitch in to help Molly sur­vive a harsh north­ern win­ter. The pac­ing of the book mir­rors that of long farm days: steady, and punc­tu­ated by an oc­ca­sional sur­prise. A quiet, sad Cree teenager, Wynona, and a hand­some farmer, Colin Mckay, add heart to the tiny com­mu­nity.

This is a ro­mance, but it’s a ro­mance about soli­tude and heal­ing and mak­ing a home. Molly learns to love Wild­wood, and comes to terms with tragedies in her past. She also gets to know and love her spir­ited great aunt through her di­ary, which ac­counts for her own rough first year home­steading.

Present-day Molly’s story starts out as a blank slate, but her de­parted aunt helps her along. The two women’s sto­ries are pre­sented so that their strug­gles run side by side, and the fun-to-read di­ary reflections awaken some­thing strong in Great Aunt Molly’s name­sake.

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