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Emilia Hart

Autor(a) de Weyward

4 Works 1,701 Membros 64 Críticas 1 Favorited

Obras por Emilia Hart


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
20th century
Local de nascimento
Sydney, Australia
Locais de residência
Sydney, Australia
London, England, UK
University of New South Wales
lawyer, writer

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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.



Weyward by Emilia Hart

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

One day I’ll learn that contemporary books that get a lot of hype and claim to be about witches are never what I want them to be.

This was disappointing. If you read my monthly reading roundups you’ll know it’s been on my TBR top 3 for ages! I finally got to it and it was at best ok.

The story is told from the POVs of three related women in different time periods – 1619, 1942 and 2019 – who end up in the same small cottage. They all shared a supernatural affinity for the natural word, particularly insects and birds.

All three stories are miserable! Trigger warning for domestic abuse, assault, rape, still births, and a rather grizzly abortion. This is all at the hands of Bad Men, who are little more than blurry villains. None of this was handled in a particularly nuanced way, and I always hate reading about rape (or seeing it in TV/movies). Often it feels like a lazy plot device when the writer wants to demonstrate Bad Men or Traumatised Women.

I’m not sure what the takeaway for this novel is intended to be. The message isn’t sisterhood, because all three women are socially isolated. The one who has a living mother gets little support from her, and there is just one new friend for Kate, who is more a plot device than a character.

They deal with their situations through having these supernatural powers. So… What about all the women who suffer abuse and dangerous situations that haven’t inherited the ability to magically call insects or birds to defend them? I guess you just have to get murdered by your ex-boyfriend…

As far as I can tell the only clear message in this book is that it’s a woman’s duty to continue the family lineage. Pregnancy was central to all three plots. If I had known this I would never have read this book. I guess it’s not on the blurb because so it can be a “twist” but you’ll see it a mile off, like everything else that happens.

I’m not interested in reading about pregnancy, and I don’t need to read books that imply it’s my purpose to produce a child. It also implies that you can, even should per Alta’s story, do this without a supportive partner or community… Fuck that even more.

As for the characters, they’re pretty flat. Altha (1619) and Violet (1942) at least had some spark in them, but then there were clearer societal barriers for conflict. Kate (2019) is lacking in any discernible personality. I don’t know who she was before Simon or after him, or what her aspirations for the future are.

And the magic stuff was actually barely in it and very tame. I didn’t even get any cool witch action!

I gave it three stars because I did fly through it in 4 nights. It’s solidly written and paced, it didn’t feel like a chore to read but it was predictable and I got nothing out of it. And I’m annoyed that a book about independent witchy women turned out to be about fucking pregnancy.

Read this review and more on my blog


- Solidly written and paced. It was easy to get through in 4 nights.
- The bits that focused on nature were cool, but too few and far between.

- Unclear what the point was. Only clear takeaway is that a woman’s duty is to produce a child!
- If I had known this would be about pregnancy I’d never have read it.
- Its just relentlessly miserable – rape, assault, domestic abuse, coercive & controlling behaviour, a grizzly abortion.
- Not enough witch action!

View all my reviews
… (mais)
ImagineAlice | 63 outras críticas | Jul 22, 2024 |
One of the best books I’ve read in a long time. very complex -there were definitely some surprises. was about 3/4 oft he way through and started planning to read it again.
Good Read!
asl4u | 63 outras críticas | Jul 21, 2024 |
A perfect book to read out in the garden, surrounded by the greenery and bumble bees, as the world slips slowly from softly spring to the heady heat of summer. Which is exactly what I did over the span of a weekend in early July, when it was still balmy enough that the dog wanted nothing more than to hang out in the back yard - and I followed suit with book and snacks in hand. I wasn’t sure that I was going to keep reading this book after being introduced to the protagonist in the modern timeline, even though I was instantly obsessed with the cover design and intrigued by the Victorian and Stuart-era storyarcs. For me, Kate was particularly unlikeable, as she had allowed herself to be swept up by an abusive relationship and ruled by the fear instilled in her by her boyfriend to the point that she had isolated herself from her friends, quit her job, and become pregnant with an unwanted child. But I kept reading, because the beginning of the story had Kate finally make the choice to break away from Simon and choose her own path - which is inextricably tied to those of her Aunt Violet, and her great grandmother (with a few more greats thrown in there) Altha. Each of the three women’s stories are carefully woven together to paint a portrait of female power reborn (obviously not just a little bit witchy and magical in this case), standing out clearly in the unique time periods in which they each lived. While Emilia Hart’s narration occasionally leaves a bit to be desired, and the influence of the many writers who came before is slightly more obvious than usual, it was lovely dipping back into a quintessentially English-feeling novel with strong feminist themes.… (mais)
JaimieRiella | 63 outras críticas | Jul 14, 2024 |
Let me start by saying that there should be so many trigger warnings for this book, as virtually every conceivable bad thing happens to women, and some scenes are quite vividly depicted and can be graphic. I have listed some content warnings below, but I'm sure there may be some I've missed as so many things happen throughout the book. Please be mindful of your own wellbeing before approaching this.
Weyward was a slow start for me but eventually it drew me in and kept me going to the end, even though I contemplating abandoning this fairly early on. I listened to this in audiobook and the narrators do a great job keeping the three POVs distinct, something which might not have worked quite as well if I'd only read this. I liked how the three storylines came together in the end, tying up all the loose knots and having the story come full circle. The author definitely shows a lot of potential for a debut, with vivid descriptions of the natural world and the settings carrying most of the book.
The underlying themes of female resilience and embracing one's true nature and self were interesting (albeit not innovative) but they were slightly undermined by the magical realism element in my view, and came across as rather simplistic in their development and resolution. I would also have liked for the side characters to be better developed and nuanced, especially for a book ostensibly focused on the power of female relationships, as well as a larger focus on the good men in these women's lives. They absolutely didn't need to take centre stage, but it would have been nice to see some more attention being given to recognising their existence and support instead of sidelining them to focus almost exclusively and in excruciating detail on the (also one-note) men who wish to hurt the Weyward women.
Overall, an interesting read but not the most memorable book I've read on the topic. Perhaps my expectations were too high after all the hype surrounding this and I would have enjoyed it more had I expected less… still worth a read if you're curious about it though.

CWs: This book contains misogyny, domestic abuse; physical, sexual and psychological violence; rape (including of a minor); abortion and miscarriage; pregnancy; suicidal ideation and attempt; war; car accident; PTSD; death; imprisonment; blood; medical trauma.
… (mais)
bookforthought | 63 outras críticas | Jul 14, 2024 |




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