Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Secret Sense of Wildflower by Susan Gabriel

genre: historical fiction

Louisa May prefers the name Wildflower, not only because it makes her feel independent and free but it's the name her daddy called her. And her daddy is dead. In the Appalachian hills in the 40s, it's no easy thing to survive without a man in the house and Wildflower's mama feels the strain. Only one thing weighs on Wildflower's mind as much as her daddy: Johnny Monroe. Mean as a mad dog, Johnny's got it out for Wildflower and Wildflower knows it, even though the people she tells don't believe it. One poor choice, one unintended consequence, one chance for Wildflower to decide if she's truly as powerful as she once believed she could be.

Told in Wildflowers voice, this book feels nice and settled in an older time and place. I liked the relationships between Wildflower and her sisters and aunts and brothers-in-law, she is so grounded in her family. It's a painful story, about the rifts that can arise between mothers and daughters and about forgiveness and redemption. Sometimes Wildflower's inner dialogue felt a little repetitive and obvious, and the content is intense but one scene at the end did actually bring tears to my eyes, so it gets four stars for really making me feel something.

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