Jun 21, 2015

Australia Week: Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman

 In 1929, Beattie Blaxland had dreams. Big dreams. She dreamed of a life of fashion and fabrics. One thing she never dreamed was that she would find herself pregnant to her married lover, just before her nineteenth birthday.

In 2009, Emma Blaxland-Hunter was living her dream. A prima ballerina with the London Ballet, she had everything... Until the moment she lost it all.

Separated by decades, both women must find the strength to rebuild their lives. A legacy from one to the other will lead to Wildflower Hill, a place where a woman can learn to stand alone long enough to realise what she really wants.
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Review by Tanya
Wildflower Hill is a two part story. Beattie Blaxland is an 18 Year old girl living in Glasgow in 1929 who finds herself pregnant by a married man. They run away to Australia to try and make a life for themselves. Things over there do not go as planned and Henry, the father, does not look after them and prefers to spend his money on booze and gambolling. Beattie runs away and takes their daughter Lucy with her. The story goes on to tell of what happens then. Beattie's past is a complete secret to her family and only when her granddaughter finds some things in a house she inherits does it become clearer to her.
Emma Blaxland – Hunter is a famous ballerina. She seems to focus on herself and her needs only and loses her long term boyfriend Josh because she cannot make any commitments. Then she finds herself having a career ending accident. Only when this happens and she goes to live back in Australia does she find that she has inherited a house in Tasmania. Whilst there sorting through the many boxes that her Grandmother has stored does she uncover some interesting finds. She intends to sell the house as soon as possible, but slowly finds that the people there and a certain dance group have a small hold on her heart strings.
This is the first book by Kimberley Freeman that I have read and I loved the characters. I really enjoyed how the story changed from the past to present day and it made me realise how different the lifestyles and way of thinking were. The characters are fantastic and so well described and I pictured myself in the room with them. I would love to be friends with Emma towards the end of the book as she realises that other people do matter. Patrick is a gentle man and I really think every reader will think oh I want someone like that. His way of thinking and his large heart are endearing attributes. 
I think my favourite part is the part about Beattie's life, I liked to read about how she came to own the farm and her relationship with her employees. I found myself just wanting what was best for them all and holding my breath in places. It was hard to believe that she kept this information from her family and I really wanted to know what happens next in the present time.

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