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.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2011-07-25
- Reviewer: Staff
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.)