February 26, 2023
Book Review


reviewed by Fiona Cook

In a truly impressive novel – even more so considering it’s a debut – Emilia Hart has woven the stories of three women from three very different times into a tapestry of resilience and hope.

Kate, in 2019, finds a sudden inheritance may hand her the opportunity she needed to finally break free of her abusive boyfriend.

Violet, a teenager in 1942, learns the story of the mother she never knew, and learns she may not be the disappointment her father has always made very clear he sees her as.

And finally Altha, all the way back in the 1600s, must defend herself from accusations of witchcraft, even as she faces a world not ready to accept women as independent.

These women will make their way through the trials that face them – some of those literal, all of them truly testing – with courage, determination, and a dawning realization of their own strengths and abilities. Emilia Hart has done an impressive job, making each woman a distinct individual, while allowing them to share enough common ground to pull their stories into a cohesive novel overall.

There were elements of magical realism here, too – to different degrees in each story thread, but very present and worked in naturally with the more grounded elements of the story. There’s parts that would have been too harrowing without those hopeful magical touches – these women do have to live through some awful events, but the promise of their unusual abilities keeps the story from sinking too deep into that darkness.

Overall a very enjoyable debut, and one that has me excited for more from this author. 

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