Wild Wood – Posie Graeme-Evans
Simon & Schuster, 2015
Of late life has become a series of unwelcome revelations for Jesse Marley. Discovering in her mid-twenties that she was adopted, she travels to Britain hoping for answers, only to get knocked down in a traffic accident and stumble into the lives of two complete strangers – but strangers who are linked to her in ways none of them quite understand. Jesse, right-handed and without an artistic bone in her body, is suddenly drawing detailed images of the keep at Hundredfield, ancestral home of the Donne family on the border between England and Scotland, where bloody battles were once fought and many secrets buried in a vicious cycle. And it’s not over yet.
This historical fantasy is split into two interconnected stories, one in the eighties with Jesse and the other in the 14th century with Bayard Dieudonné. Bayard’s sections was uncompromisingly brutal; as a co-protagonist, I could not warm to him in any way or in fact to most of the characters in his chapters, with the exception of Margaretta. This is a period of history I’m not particularly familiar with so that was interesting, if disquieting. Jesse’s parts of the book had a very different mood but an ominous undercurrent. While the conclusion was thematically consistent with that tone, there were serious issues that I felt needed a bit more exploration. Still, if you like Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth and Kate Morton’s The Secret Keeper this one is definitely worth a look.