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Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman
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Wildflower Hill (original 2011; edition 2011)

by Kimberley Freeman

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2182053,416 (4.11)5
Member:bookofsecrets
Title:Wildflower Hill
Authors:Kimberley Freeman
Info:Touchstone (2011), Edition: Original, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:historical fiction, women's fiction, contemporary fiction, Australia, Tasmania, family drama

Work details

Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman (2011)

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  1. 20
    The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton (KimarieBee)
    KimarieBee: Family secrets
  2. 00
    The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton (fueledbycoffee)
    fueledbycoffee: Family secrets, past present timelines, strong amazing women, stories of substance.
  3. 00
    A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford (silva_44)
    silva_44: The character Beattie from Wildflower Hill is incredibly similar to Emma in A Woman of Substance. Both women face daunting circumstances but strive for excellence despite many severe setbacks.
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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Wildflower Hill is a gorgeous novel that I read two years ago now and absolutely fell in love with. It's so beautifully written and leaves you guessing the entire novel. I wish there was more to it, because I loved the characters (asdfgkl CHARLIE ( )
  Tarklovishki | Oct 31, 2014 |
I thought this story was absolutely excellent! At first, I thought I'd be irritated with the switching back and forth between generations, but I wasn't at all. Like the cover states, it reminds me very much of Kate Morton's writing---but cleaner. That's not to say it's totally clean...but I wasn't super uncomfortable reading it. For a couple weeks before, and all during the time I read this, I'd been frustrated with my 2-year-old, Kynthia, for waking me up early every.single.morning. to "be with me". Oh how I treasure those times now after reading this heartbreakingly wonderful story! ( )
  lostinavalonOR | Jun 6, 2014 |
In life when does following your dreams get in the way of what is really important in life? Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman is a beautiful literary fiction book of two woman, 2 different woman in a family, a grandmother (Beatie) and granddaughter (Emma) who both have plans for their lives at young ages, but have two different bumps in the road. Beatie is 18 years old dreaming of a life of comfort with her fashion designs, but then finds herself pregnant with a married man's child. While Emma at 31 hurts her knee so that her dreams of dancing come to a crashing point. When Emma is returns home to her mom across the world from England she is sent to clean up her grandmother's old sheep farm, Wildflower Hill. During her stay Emma is packing up packages and finding out that there are mysteries in her family that her grandmother hid very well...

Not going to lie I never heard of this book and a close friend of mine went on and on about so I picked it up. At first I was interested by the fact there was romances and that the cover was well, shiny. Once I started to read I got so involved with the characters and how Ms Freeman wrote the book. I would get so dedicated to one character's side only to have the narrative switch. The writing is beautiful, the characters are heart wrenching, and the readers will keep wanting more. I really liked this book and will probably reading some literary fiction for a little bit because of the mood this book left me in :) ( )
  ottilieweber | Apr 24, 2014 |
This novel is a great read for a quiet weekend filled with hot tea and an empty agenda. It has an almost dreamy quality at times, especially when we are carried back into the past with Beattie.

The story will mean different things for different people and I think it will depend on generation and life experiences. I identified strongly with Beattie and loved her as a character almost from the very beginning. I had a harder time embracing Emma.

Emma to me is a typical example of the millinial generation. She is very confident and goal driven. She is traveling on a one way road that is her idea of success and fulfillment, until the she takes a mistep and has to reroute her life.

Beattie is almost the complete opposite. Although she had youthful dreams of fashion design she was more heavily influenced by all the people and events in her life. She made room for people on her journey. She did attain success and fulfillment but it was a winding road filled with painful challenges, roadblocks and detours.

( )
  Angelina-Justice | Feb 3, 2014 |
I have a huge heart space for books with a little of everything: present day to past, family, historical, romance, mystery, drama, a laugh or two. I'm just happily lost.

Kimberley Freeman's Wildflower Hill is just such a book. I've seen comparisons to Susanna Kearsley and Kate Morton and I would definitely agree. Freeman's writing is detailed without becoming tedious, expertly leaving details along the way for the reader to scoop up, "ooh" and "ahhh" with each revelation to piece together a story: How we can make things happen even in the worst of circumstance.

This quote below flew off the page at me when I first read it. I didn't realize it would also become a key point in the book.

"There are two types of women in the world, Beattie, those who do things and those who have things done to them. Try to be the first type."

In the 1930's, Beattie was a slip of a girl armed with enough courage to push past her fear through the best and worst of times, who took control of the things done to her, and made things happen. I think her strength surprised even her own self, faced with seemingly huge obstacles. Frying pan to fire. Love and tragedy. A new beginning. A new country. Heartbreak. Hard work and determination. Her inherent strength, passion, and drive are subtle like I find most of my own friends. They don't realize how strong they are until they get through it and in hindsight can say, "I'm a badass!"

It's not overpowering, simply blossoming as her life is carved out by her own blood, sweat, and tears. You see her regrets. We all have a few or ten... but also the bittersweet, the loveliness of spirit even until Beattie's death in her old age. She's a woman you'd love to sit down with and have a glass of lemonade, just to hear her sage observations on life.

In the present day, Beattie's granddaughter, Emma has an inner drive, a first love that seems to afford her a sole focus to the detriment of others and even more so, to herself. It's not a man. It's her love of dance. Dance is her own emotional outlet - and occasionally used as a weapon to punish herself or push others away.

Emma's drive to dance and through a series of events, Emma finds her life taking an abrupt and difficult downturn. And this just after her grandmother passes. Now we see Emma deal with a different crutch. It's not pretty but it is clear Emma doesn't even know what she wants, let alone what she has become.

I liked that Emma was imperfect and not infallible. To the point where, when Emma did start to question her own self, she became introspective and honestly objective. We see Emma slowly mature. To see clearly what this new path in life was giving her. Learning of her grandmother's life through family memories, photos, and flashbacks, we see Emma discover a personal strength mirroring her grandmother. We see an emergent fortitude to determine what, where, and who was important to Emma.

There is a swoony, sweet man in the present and you don't even realize you are rooting for him until you are white-knuckling the book and saying, "NO! WHA...YOU CANT...WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?" (maybe just me, then?)

I had a few details I would have loved to have seen completely fleshed out. The book is certainly a stand alone, however I could easily see another book to this story. Overall, I very much enjoyed this gem. ( )
  fueledbycoffee | Dec 3, 2013 |
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Kimberley Freemanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ina Bakke KickstatTranslatorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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for Janine, who is precious
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The girl danced.
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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.… (more)

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