Harriet Evans is one of my favourite authors, I always pre-order her forthcoming books and The Wildflowers was no exception. Usually these would immediately be devoured however lack of time has meant this poor book as been sat patiently waiting on my TBR pile for quite a while. Nevertheless, I eventually managed to make some dedicated reading time and it is no longer sitting unloved, so I thought I would share my thoughts on Harriet’s latest offering.
Tony and Althea Wilde. Glamorous, argumentative … adulterous to the core.
They were my parents, actors known by everyone. They gave our lives love and colour in a house by the sea – the house that sheltered my orphaned father when he was a boy.
But the summer Mads arrived changed everything. She too had been abandoned and my father understood why. We Wildflowers took her in.
My father was my hero, he gave us a golden childhood, but the past was always going to catch up with him … it comes for us all, sooner or later.
This is my story. I am Cordelia Wilde. A singer without a voice. A daughter without a father. Let me take you inside.
The Wildflowers tells the story of the Wilde family, famous golden couple Tony and Althea and their children Ben and Cord. From the outside the family appear to have everything, glamour, fame and the perfect family life especially to Madeleine who’s upbringing couldn’t be more different. Every year the family spend their Summer at the Bosky, their holiday home and that’s where they meet Mads. Secretly she keeps a diary detailing information about the Wilde family as she observes them from afar until she finds herself taken into the fold, becoming part of the family.
It is this diary that is the catalyst for the story that enfolds, seeing the reader taken on a roller-coaster ride across the decades. Originally told from Cordelia’s perspective the story flits between the past and present throughout, often changing from chapter to chapter. This was a little confusing at times however made sense as I read on and learnt more. As we are given more detail about the family we discover they are far from perfect. In fact, their lives are filled with scandal, infidelity, lies and secrets which are cleverly unearthed as the book progresses along with the repercussions that are felt throughout the years.
It’s difficult to write about this book without giving too much away so I’m going to try and be as vague as I can so as not to spoil it. The story-line is fairly complex though in the best possible way and is extremely well-written. At over 500 pages it may put some readers off, but I can honestly say it didn’t feel it as the story keeps up a fantastic pace throughout. In my opinion the length of the book allowed the characters the opportunity to develop making me feel like I really knew them well. Having initially disliked a couple of them, once I was privy to their backstory and realised the reasons behind their behaviours I could completely sympathise with their situations.
The Wildflowers is a fabulous dysfunctional family saga which had me gripped all the way through and at times had me fearing there would be loose ends untied at it’s conclusion. I should know better though as Harriet has ensured all questions have been wrapped up neatly into a perfectly tied parcel by the end leaving me feeling truly satisfied.
The Wildflowers is part of Richard and Judy’s Summer Book Club 2018 and would make the ideal Summer read!
The Wildflowers is available to purchase from Amazon
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