by Kimberley Freeman

Touchstone, $16.00, 526 pages

Emma is a prima ballerina at the height of her career when her life falls apart – her boyfriend leaves her for his assistant and she has an accident that permanently ends her dance career. Reluctant to accept her new life and limitations, Emma goes home to Australia and the house that her grandmother Beattie left her – Wildflower Hill. While clearing out the house to sell, Emma finds clues to her grandmother’s past – secrets that have been buried for decades. As Emma digs further, she finds not only answers to her family’s secrets but lessons that help her heal.

Wildflower Hill is a stunning novel by author Kimberley Freeman. She has crafted a moving story of two women whose dreams have been obliterated and showed how they individually find the strength to move on. Both of the characters are richly written and are endearing despite their faults. She adeptly moves from the present to the past without causing a lag in the story. She also creates a wonderful sense of place with the Australian countryside setting; the descriptions are so vivid that readers will feel that they are there with the characters. This poignant novel is impossible to put down.

Barbara Cothern