The Wilderwomen

Ruth Emmie Lang

Quick Synopsis

Two sisters with psychic abilities search for their mother that disappeared five years earlier.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Five years ago, Nora Wilder disappeared. The older of her two daughters, Zadie, should have seen it coming, because she can literally see things coming. But not even her psychic abilities were able to prevent their mother from vanishing one morning.

Zadie’s estranged younger sister, Finn, can’t see into the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, so good that she remembers not only her own memories, but the echoes of memories other people have left behind. On the afternoon of her graduation party, Finn is seized by an “echo” more powerful than anything she’s experienced before: a woman singing a song she recognizes, a song about a bird…

When Finn wakes up alone in an aviary with no idea of how she got there, she realizes who the memory belongs to: Nora.

Now, it’s up to Finn to convince her sister that not only is their mom still out there, but that she wants to be found. Against Zadie’s better judgement, she and Finn hit the highway, using Finn’s echoes to retrace Nora’s footsteps and uncover the answer to the question that has been haunting them for years: Why did she leave?

But the more time Finn spends in their mother’s past, the harder it is for her to return to the present, to return to herself. As Zadie feels her sister start to slip away, she will have to decide what lengths she is willing to go to find their mother, knowing that if she chooses wrong, she could lose them both for good.

Book Review

The Wilderwomen is ultimately a story that encompasses a road trip that two sisters, with special abilities, take to find their mother who disappeared five years earlier. It explores grief, guilt, the reestablishment of broken relationships, and the search for acceptance along with connections to nature.

The plot of The Wilderwomen is primarily a meandering road trip filled with very welcoming strangers, bonding, and a bit of mystery. I prefer plot-driven stories over character-driven ones, and I found this book to be more of the latter. I do enjoy character-driven stories when there is a lot of emotion and still substantive plot. Ultimately, I felt like emotion was ultimately lacking.

The mystery of what happened to Nora Wilder prevented me from putting The Wilderwomen down and not picking it up again. However, I was a bit disappointed with the resolution of the mystery and felt like some of the explanation was reaching. It seemed like there was not enough development and explaining previously in the book to make the ending completely believable.

Despite having Lang’s debut novel on my shelf for many years, this is the first book I have read by her. I found that the characters were well-developed and likeable, albeit a bit quirky. The writing in The Wilderwomen alternated between being very metaphorical and very conversational. I thought that Lang did an excellent job creating vivid imagery.

Overall, I enjoyed The Wilderwomen and would recommend it. However, I do not think it will be a story that I remember a few months from now. If you enjoy books about families reconnecting, like taking road trips, and wonder what it would be like to experiences other people’s memories or have premonitions, The Wilderwomen is for you.

Rating

Overall Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Writing

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Plot

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Character development

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Wilderwomen

RECOMMENDED

Genre
Fantasy – Magical Realism

Publication Date
November 15, 2022

Pages
336


Storygraph Rating
3.74 stars

Goodreads Rating
3.95 stars


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Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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