The Wilding by Maria McCann
…the perfect read for Autumn
It is 17th Century England, after the nightmare of the Civil War life starts returning to normality for its people. After living a quiet life with his parents, Matthew and Barbara, Jonathan Dymond’s world is about to become a little less stable. After the news of his Uncle Robin’s death Jonathan finds remains of a destroyed letter written by Robin hoping to put right the wrongs of his past before his death. Intrigued at what secrets could exist in his family’s past Jonathan sets out to his Aunty Harriet’s, under the premise of pressing her apples for the cider season, to find out more.
Jonathan senses that his Aunt Harriet is trying to cover her own secrets and past so it is up to him to unravel the mystery as to why his Aunt has something to hide, the secrets Robin wanted to confess before his death, and why Tamer and Joan, two beggars who live in the wood, are connected.
Although Jonathan’s narration is both interesting and believable, it is disappointing not to hear other character’s innermost thoughts, especially those of Tamer and Joan who are fighting for survival without food, water or heat in the woods behind Harriet’s house.
Without trying to spoil the plot there are parts which are quite predictable and other parts which are slightly questionable, but this will make a great group read as there will be plenty of discussion to be had.
Nevertheless, this is a beautifully written book. You can taste the apples, smell the chimney smoke and feel the cold Autumn air on your skin, which makes it perfect reading at this time of year. It’s enough to have you running home to your blankets and hot chocolate!
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