October 11, 2017

Magic in the Meadows • Wild Beauty

La Pradera. The Nomeolvides women have called this estate home for centuries, tending to the gardens with their magical ability to makes flowers bloom and plants grow. But behind the enchanting secret lies a tragic truth: if they love too deeply, the person they love disappears. Everything changes when a strange boy appears in the gardens, and the secrets of the estate start to unravel.

Wild Beauty book cover
Plot? Before I started this novel, all I knew about it was that there was a family of women with the ability to make flowers bloom and plants grow. I was sold on it simply based on that thin premise and because it was Anna-Marie McLemore who had written it. Reading the actual novel was a pleasant surprise, as it was a story built on magic, yes, but also on the relationships between all the characters, and also the setting being an entirely separate character as well. McLemore is an expert at weaving these things together, as per usual, and I enjoyed it.

Characters? I adored Estrella, her cousins, her mother, her aunts, her grandmothers, and a lot of that had to do with the fact that my immediate family is mostly made up of women as well. I certainly thought that the mysterious boy who appears was intriguing as well, as were the secondary characters in the periphery of the Nomeolvides clan. But the best character, to me, was the setting. There was just something about the way that McLemore wrote this setting that made it seem like a living, breathing being that really came off the page.

Writing? I've been a fan of McLemore's writing since I picked up her debut novel two years ago, and she just continues to impress me with every novel that she puts out into the world. I started out this novel feeling unsure of the direction it was taking, but trusting McLemore to lead me by the hand, or by the word, as you will. And it paid off, because this story turned out to be really incredible. It reads like a modern-day fairytale!

Overall? I loved this novel, which is no surprise as I've adored both of McLemore's previous novels too. She just has a way of writing magical realism that is accessible and appealing, and it 100% works for me each and every time. I enjoyed Wild Beauty and I definitely think many readers will as well.

What's your favorite flower? Sunflowers, hands down, are my favorite flowers in the whole wide world. They're bright, they're cheerful, they can get to be double the size of my head, and it just makes me happy whenever I get the chance to see them.

Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends | Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Source: ARC received during BEA 2017 (Thanks!)


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