Wildflower Hill

Wildflower Hill

4.5 63
by Kimberley Freeman
     
 

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Hailed by bestselling author Kate Morton as “a gorgeous story of family and secrets and the redemptive power of love,” Wildflower Hill is s compelling and romantic novel spanning three generations and half the world, from modern day London to Australia in the 1930s.

Emma is a prima ballerina in London and at a crossroads after an injured knee

Overview

Hailed by bestselling author Kate Morton as “a gorgeous story of family and secrets and the redemptive power of love,” Wildflower Hill is s compelling and romantic novel spanning three generations and half the world, from modern day London to Australia in the 1930s.

Emma is a prima ballerina in London and at a crossroads after an injured knee ruins her career. When she learns of her grandmother Beattie’s death, and her own strange inheritance—an isolated sheep station in rural Australia—Emma is certain she has been saddled with an irritating burden. But when she returns to Australia, forced to rest her body and confront her life, she realizes that she had been using fame as a substitute for love and fulfillment.

Beattie also found herself at a crossroads as a young woman, but she was pregnant and unwed. She eventually found success—but only after following an unconventional path that was often dangerous and heartbreaking. Beattie knew the lessons she learned in life would be important to Emma one day, and she wanted to make sure Emma’s heart remained open to love, no matter what life brought. She knew the magic of the Australian wilderness would show Emma the way.

Wildflower Hill is a compelling, atmospheric, and romantic novel about taking risks, starting again, and believing in yourself. It’s about finding out what you really want and discovering that the answer might be not at all what you’d expect.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Freeman's debut novel, Emma Blaxland-Hunter, a prima ballerina from London, must re-evaluate her life after doctors declare her knee unfit for dancing. At the behest of her mother, Emma returns home to Sydney, where she discovers her affluent and loving grandmother, Beattie Blaxland, has left her an inheritance: Wildflower Hill, an old sheep farm in Tasmania. When Emma settles in temporarily to clean out Wildflower Hill and sell it, she discovers a photo of her grandmother with a mysterious child. Determined to discover the girl's identity, Emma is pulled closer to Wildflower Hill's sordid history and ultimately, her grandmother's untidy secrets. In this sentimental narrative, readers learn the answers to Emma's questions just as she begins to ask them, which makes for a fairly predictable read. The novel's strength instead lies in Freeman's complex characters—capable of love and hate, shame and redemption. Both Beattie and Emma find themselves having to start over, and it is for these two women that readers cheer and sympathize. (Aug.)
From the Publisher
'A gorgeous story of family and secrets and the redemptive power of love.' Kate Morton, bestselling author of The Distant Hours and The Forgotten Garden

“The novel's strength instead lies in Freeman's complex characters—capable of love and hate, shame and redemption. Both Beattie and Emma find themselves having to start over, and it is for these two women that readers cheer and sympathize.” –Publishers Weekly

By the last satisfying scene, you may find yourself reluctantly parting with old friends who will live on once the cover has closed. Highly recommended.” Historical Novels Review

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781451623499
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
08/23/2011
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
263,485
Product dimensions:
5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Kimberley Freeman was born in London and grew up in Brisbane, Australia. She is the bestselling author of Wildflower Hill and Lighthouse Bay and teaches critical and creative writing at the University of Queensland. She lives in Brisbane with an assortment of children and pets. Visit her website at KimberleyFreeman.com.

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Wildflower Hill 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
bookofsecrets More than 1 year ago
Wildflower Hill is a poignant tale of two women living in different decades but whose lives are strongly intertwined. I dearly loved this book! The story of Beattie and her granddaughter Emma was completely absorbing. Beattie was a Scottish immigrant who moved to Tasmania, Australia, at the start of the Great Depression. Someone had told her once that "there are two types of women in the world...those who do things, and those who have things done to them." As a poor, unwed mother, she kept that thought in the forefront of her mind as she struggled against poverty and prejudice. Against insurmountable odds, she became the owner of a prosperous sheep farm in rural Tasmania, though it was not without great hardship and heartache. Set in 2009, Emma's story is effortlessly woven in with Beattie's. Emma is a prima ballerina in London. Proud of her success as a dancer, she didn't realize how it had totally consumed her life until a knee injury put an end to her career. Left with no other options, she returns home to Sydney. Emma is told that she has inherited a farm in Tasmania that her grandmother ran in the 1930s. Beattie had not been there for many years and used the place for storage, so Emma decides to head south to clean out the place in order to sell it. Upon arrival Emma finds boxes and boxes full of Beattie's old possessions, including letters, photos and business records. As Emma sorts through everything, she slowly uncovers family secrets buried for decades. I have not been moved by a book quite so much in a very long time. I really enjoyed the author's writing style, including the rich descriptions of the settings. It was easy to picture myself there too. Wildflower Hill stirred up many emotions for me - heartache, joy, anger, and frustration. Ultimately it is a very inspirational story about the power of perseverance and realizing what is truly important in life. Both Beattie and Emma were strong female characters written in a way that I felt like I was sharing their experiences with them. I loved how important parts of the story were told through old-fashioned letters. The last letter written by Beattie that Emma finds had me sobbing. The ending was bittersweet and very satisfying. I would highly recommend Wildflower Hill to fans of women's fiction. It is a story that will stay with me for a long time.
Ravenswood_Reviews More than 1 year ago
"WILDFLOWER HILL" BY KIMBERLEY FREEMAN This transitional time novel was spellbinding. Told from the viewpoints of a grandmother and her granddaughter the secrets they both share are astounding. Coming into her grandmother's inheritance and trying to decide what to do with it, Emma finds herself learning a lot about the woman and her life. A novel chock full of mystery, and the magic of a land Emma's only just discovering. This novel is beautiful and timeless. -Kitty Bullard / Great Minds Think Aloud Book Club
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1989 Sydney, Beattie Blaxland watches her eleven year old granddaughter Emma Blaxland-Hunter dance with euphoria. Afterward, Beattle sadly muses to her beloved Emma that success is not everything. In 2009, prima donna Emma's dance career ends in London at about the same time her relationship with Josh when the doctors declare her knee to brittle to handle the physical demands of dance. Her mom asks her to come home, which she does. She has inherited Wildflower Hall from her late grandma. She plans to sell the place until she finds a photograph of her grandma with an unknown child. Unable to resist Emma investigates her family tree. In 1929 Glasgow, Beattie's dreams end when she realizes she is carrying her married lover Henry MacConnell's child. Beattie and Henry flee to Tasmania where he deserts her. Supporting her daughter as a single mom, Beattie obtains work at Wildflower Hill sheep farm. This is a fascinating family drama refreshingly enhanced by local vernacular that has the reader feeling they are in Australia. The story line is very narrowly linear past and present as the audience will figure out the mystery before Beattie does. Still the fun in this tale resides in the complicated two women who bring grit and charm as they reinvent themselves through love and hate; as for the sandwiched generation, she is more an enabler and not on the same developed levels as her mom and daughter. Fans of epic family dramas will enjoy this fine Australian saga. Harriet Klausner
annieWISC More than 1 year ago
The separate stories of two women in their young adult years weave together the generations of a grandmother and her granddaughter. Their lives could not have begun more differently but the author takes you through the journey that led them both to Wildflower Hill. The grandmother's story seems the most compelling. She overcomes great odds to carve a life for herself and her illegitimate daughter but is prevented from seeing her daughter through to adulthood. The over riding emotion throughout the story is love, in all its many forms. The book is perfect for a women's book club selection.
txbookaddict More than 1 year ago
This was a pick of our book club, and one of my absolute favorites. Discovering family secrets, the Australian wilderness, transitions between the early 20th century and the present, characters you love and some you want to throttle, WILDFLOWER HILL has it all. Great discussion in our book club, and everyone agreed it was a terrific read. A must-read for those who love historical fiction of early 20th century life. Great for those who love discovering the souls of the characters, and the events that shape their lives and their families.
the-PageTurner More than 1 year ago
I can not tell enough people about how wonderful this book is. Set in London and Austrilia it is a family saga the is so heartfelt. The story of a young woman in 2009 and her grandmother . It is so beautifully writen that some of the lines will haunt me. It is sad, but in a rather bittersweet way. I do not know how I heard of this book as it is not a blockbuster-front of the store book. But the writing and story line are not to be missed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'll admit i was hesitant to read this book after reading an overview of the plot, but i read it anyways and I sure do not regret it. After the first few pages, I was captivated by the novel and would spend any free time reading it. It's very well written and has one of the best storylines. I must say though, i was slightly more interested in Beattie's side of the story, but both sides were very interesting. This book is a must~read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wonderful read, one of the best in a while. I loved this book and found it hard to put down.
Kasia1021 More than 1 year ago
I won this on Goodreads. I really enjoyed reading this story and getting to uncover the layers of the characters. My favorite character was the grandmother, Beattie, who had more secrets than a person should ever have, and my least favorite character was the granddaughter, Emma, who I just couldn't like for the life of me. She was arrogant, pompous, and so self-centered that no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn't "get" her. As the story unfolds and details of events are revealed, Emma's character starts to thaw, making her more human in my eyes. The book changes perspectives as well as eras of time, but that made it all the more enchanting to me. The only thing I didn't like was the ending...see for yourself! One book I won't soon forget.
alc2792 More than 1 year ago
I had been looking for a simple love story while browsing the shelves at my local B&N, when I came across this book. Being that I had just watched 'The Yellow Handkerchief' (both the Japanese and American remake), I wanted only to read a book that captured that sort of love. A story without all of the near death experiences, Mary Jane characters, and all other useless filler. When I found Wildflower Hill, it's summery led me to purchasing the book. I'm thankful that I did, because the book was so much more than I could have imagined. With two separate main characters who are intertwined through blood the book is mainly set in two different time periods. The story unfolds to show how Grandmother Beattie had a hidden past and her granddaughter, Emma, is suffering from an end to her lifelong dream and loss of her beloved boyfriend. The fact that this book incorporates a few of my favorite things such as ballet, Australia, and cute boys didn't hurt. Kim Freeman is a wonderful writer with even better content who is capable of pulling on your heartstrings. I read the book in two days and honestly wish now that I had spanned it out over a week or so; I wish it didn't have to end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Do you fix the typos when you put it on the internet?
gargaux More than 1 year ago
Highly recommend 
new-hampshire-reader More than 1 year ago
A nice, if somewhat predictable, love story. I enjoyed reading it. This would be a great summer beach read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a GREAT BOOK, LOVED THE GENERATIONAL STORIES AND HISTORY
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
great book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful and delightful story.
TurningThePagesBlog More than 1 year ago
So when I found this book in one of the used bookstores I've always visiting for $2.95 in mint condition I had to by it and I had even completely forgotten that it had been on my Goodreads TBR shelf for almost 6 months. I really had no intention of reading it the other day but I've been having a problem with focusing on my books so I picked it up on a whim and before I knew it I was 100 pages in and then of course life got in the way just as the book was really starting to go somewhere. By the time I was able to pick it up again it was around 10 p.m.. I finished it by 2 a.m. I just couldn't put it down. The book was actually a lot different than I thought it would be. I knew going into it just by reading the summary that the book was a sort of family saga but I wasn't expecting it to be quite like this one and I mean that in the best of ways. I became very attached to Beattie's (Emma's grandmother) character. In fact she turned out to be my favourite character over all in the book. Her resilience, determination and spirit were what made me love her character so much. Despite the twisted life that fate handed her she was able to rise above it. I loved how the book too us from the streets of Glasgow to halfway across the world in Tasmania on Beattie's journey. The evolution of her character throughout the book seemed so real. She went from being a victim of circumstance to taking charge of her life even when she had to face the cruelest of heartbreaks. Throughout the novel I felt as if I were there along side Beattie watching her grow and change, deal with happiness and extreme sadness and every time something horrible happened to her I would sort of feel my own heart breaking with hers. However, on the other hand of the spectrum is Emma. Beatti's prima ballerina granddaughter. I wasn't exceptionally fond of her character because Emma is one of those women who has to have everything about them. You know the type, those who when life finally catches up to them and they have to be like the rest of us mortal women turns inward and just whines. Yep, that's Emma. The thing is though eventually Emma gets past a lot of her selfish tendencies and she turns a new leaf and suddenly...when you're reading her parts of the book you start to like her a little more because you can see a bit of the gumption that aided her grandmother so much in her life shine through in her. As you can probably guess I really loved this book. I haven't read a book that makes my heart physically ache for the characters in some time. It was wonderful that Kimberley Freeman had such talent that she was able to draw me into the book in such a way that it was as if I was experiencing every ounce of emotion in her book. I for one cannot wait to add more books by this author to my collection. If you're looking for a novel to transport you to a different time and place this is the one for you. The way that the author was able to construct such an authentic tale of life in Tasmania in the early 1930's for Beattie's part of the novel was amazing and the fact that the book switched from hers to Emma's point of view so seamlessly made this an amazingly moving read. If you want something that makes you think, make your heartbreak and then build it back up again I highly suggest trying this novel. It's one that I will never forget and one that I plan on reading over and over again. If you love historical fiction please give this a try.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite books of all time. The audio version is also very good!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down. It encaptured me. My heart felt for the all of the characters. Beautifully written
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read this book for our book club group. We all thought it was very well written with good character development. I definitely recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book and could not stop reading. Finished the book in three days and am sad it ended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will love this book! If you like the K ate M orton books , Forgotten Garden, you will like this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Very well written.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! i was a bit disappointed with the ending but overall a great read.