Audiobook Review: Weyward by Emilia Hart

I received a review copy from the publisher. This does not affect the contents of my review and all opinions are my own.

Weyward by Emilia Hart

Mogsy’s Rating (Overall): 4 of 5 stars

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Series: Stand Alone

Publisher: Macmillan Audio (March 7, 2023)

Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins

Author Information: Twitter

Following the lives of three women through different times in history, Weyward by Emilia Hart is a lyrical generational novel that explores the relationship between magic and the natural world. Opening in 1619, we first meet Altha, the young daughter of a local healer who has just been arrested on the suspicion of murder. Accused by the family member of one of her mother’s patients, Altha’s imprisonment and her subsequent trial is described by her in her journal, revealing how the town feared her for a witch and believed her to possess powers that allowed her to control animals.

Next, we meet Kate, a London woman who fell for the wrong man and is now trapped in an abusive marriage. After finding out she is pregnant, she decides to leave Simon so that her daughter would not have to experience the violence as she had. After weeks of planning her escape, she makes her way to Weyward Cottage, an old property that she recently inherited from her great aunt Violet, that her husband has no knowledge about. There, Kate begins building up a new life for herself and her unborn child, befriending the townsfolk and getting a job at the local bookstore. While settling in, she comes across a stash of old letters and other writings that her great aunt has collected, giving her insight into her family’s’ origins.

And finally, in the year 1942 as World War II rages, we meet Kate’s great aunt Violet, who at this time is only teenager with dreams of becoming a biologist one day in order to study her beloved insects. Unfortunately, her strict wealthy father has expressly forbade any kind of real education for her, keeping her secluded at their old family manor until the day she is to be married off. And then came Frederick, Violet’s cousin who is currently serving in the war. Something awful happens, and Violet is unceremoniously exiled to an old cabin where she discovers old family secrets her father had tried to keep hidden—secrets about her mother, rumored to have gone mad before her death. At last, Violet will get answers about the mysterious woman who gave birth to her, and the Weyward legacy she left behind.

First off, I’m impressed that this was a debut, as it is beautifully and thoughtfully written. At its heart, the novel can be viewed as a character study of these three women who lived centuries apart, and yet their lives are wonderfully intertwined and at once juxtaposed into an engaging narrative. The author also seamlessly weaves magical realism into every thread, giving each woman a connection to the natural world, letting them find their power and their place in it. Altha, Kate, and Violet all had compelling stories, sharing some similarities in their struggles but were also given unique ways to solve their conflicts. Gradually, Hart reveals how the women are related through history, connected by the name Weyward.

I’m also normally not a huge fan of magical realism stories, but here it was handled in a way that was easy to follow and understand. Centering around nature and animals, it fit well with the themes of the book, which heavily implies that the characters’ innate magic and nature magic are one and the same. In the 17the century timeline, there is even the mention of witchcraft and the association of women’s healing with it, which I think will make Weyward appealing to fans of books by Louisa Morgan or The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow.

I also had the pleasure of reviewing the audiobook version, narrated by Aysha Kala, Helen Keeley, and Nell Barlow. I was happy with the involvement of multiple narrators, as the story came to life beautifully with their voices reading their respective roles. Highly recommended.

16 Comments on “Audiobook Review: Weyward by Emilia Hart”

  1. I’m not usually a fan of magical realism either but this one with the three women intrigued me so it’s my next read. I’m glad you enjoyed it.


  2. Ok you convinced me! You always have good audiobooks recommendations so I am adding it to my TBR!


  3. Sounds like a book worth seeking out. I love when multiple timeline narratives actually work, and to do so as a debut is very impressive.


  4. Pingback: Bookshelf Roundup 03/26/23: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads | The BiblioSanctum

  5. Weaving three narratives so that each one is completely effective, without hampering the pacing takes serious writing chops. Thank you for a lovely review and I’m making a note to check this one out – it sounds like it would be delightful listen:)).


    • Yes, the book is essentially three stories in one but the chapter placements and transitions were done in a way that felt natural and connected the three together seamlessly. If you get to check it out, I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!


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