Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece

EXCERPT: Twelve year old Sarah Ross reached quickly for the fragrant charm beneath her pillow the same way she would have reached for a parachute ripcord if she’d been rudely pushed from a plane cruising at ten thousand feet. It was only an imaginary fall, one that had propelled her awake, as bad dreams do, but her trembling fingers clutched at the familiar shape of the tiny crocheted mouse like a lifeline. The charm her mother had filled with sage and lemon balm was supposed to help Sarah sleep, and it did, usually, but the dream fall had cannoned her awake with stomach-swooping dread, as if the entire world had disappeared beneath her sleeping body.

This time her knuckles didn’t stop hurting even after the bed solidified beneath her. She wasn’t falling. She was awake. Her soft bedding still smelled of sunshine from its time on the clothesline.

Her hands hurt.

It was only a ghost pain that had haunted her first waking moments since she was a little girl. There was nothing wrong with her fingers, her knuckles, the palms of her hands. The mouse usually banished the pain by grounding her in the real world.

Not this time.

ABOUT ‘WILDWOOD WHISPERS’: At the age of eleven, Mel Smith’s life found its purpose when she met Sarah Ross. Ten years later, Sarah’s sudden death threatens to break her. To fulfill a final promise to her best friend, Mel travels to an idyllic small town nestled in the shadows of the Appalachian Mountains. Yet Morgan’s Gap is more than a land of morning mists and deep forest shadows.

There are secrets that call to Mel, in the gaze of the gnarled and knowing woman everyone calls Granny, in a salvaged remedy book filled with the magic of simple mountain traditions, and in the connection, she feels to the Ross homestead and the wilderness around it.

With every taste of sweet honey and tart blackberries, the wildwood twines further into Mel’s broken heart. But a threat lingers in the woods—one that may have something to do with Sarah’s untimely death and that has now set its sight on Mel.

MY THOUGHTS: I was looking forward to listening to Wildwood Whispers, a story of magical realism set in a village in the Adirondacks. But, sorry, this just didn’t strike a chord in my heart. I found it difficult to connect with the characters and found the story very slow moving.

There is no real mystery, because it is apparent very early on, who is responsible. The why takes longer to be revealed, but by then I had lost interest.

I really enjoyed the scenes based around the bees, but the mouse really didn’t work for me. I also felt that the romantic interest wasn’t necessary, and was far too obvious.

The description of the wildwood and the garden interested me, and I would have liked more information about the recipes.

While I usually like audiobooks to have multiple narrators, there was one narrator whose voice grated on my eardrums, which definitely didn’t enhance my experience.

Overall, this was just an average read.


#WildwoodWhispers #NetGalley

I: @willa_reece @hachetteaudio

T: @ReeceWilla @HachetteAudio

#audiobook #fantasy #contemporaryfiction #cult #mystery #paranormal #romance

THE AUTHOR: Besides writing, Willa is devoted to animal rescue and her three scientist sons—a biologist, and an aspiring chemist and physicist. Willa lives in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia where stories are often told on a dark side porch by the flicker of firefly light.

DISCLOSURE: Thank you to Hachette Audio, Orbit via Netgalley for providing an audio ARC of Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

For an explanation of my rating system please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the about page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com

This review is also published on Twitter, Amazon, Instagram and Goodreads.com

Author: sandysbookaday

I love good quality chocolate. I love the ocean and love to be in, on or beside it. I read any and every where. I am a proud mum and Nana. I like wine, gin, Southern Comfort, a cold Heineken on a hot day. I am very versatile like that. I cross stitch, do jigsaws, garden, and work on a farm. I am an occasional scribbled. I have far too many books I want to read to ever find the time to die. I am an active member of Goodreads as Sandy *the world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* and review on Amazon under the name Sandyj21. My Goodreads reviews are automatically linked to my Facebook page. Groups I belong to and participate in on Goodreads include: The Mystery, Crime and Thriller Group; Mysteries and Crime Thrillers; Psychological Thrillers; Reading for Pleasure; Crime Detective Mystery Thrillers; English Mysteries; Dead Good Crime; Kindle English Mystery, All About Books and NZ Readers. April 2016 I made the Top 1% of Goodreads reviewers (As follows) Hello Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*, In our community of readers, you stand out in a notable way: You're one of the top 1% of reviewers on Goodreads! With every rave and every pan, with every excited GIF and every critical assessment, you've helped the Goodreads community get closer to a very important milestone – the 50 Million Reviews mark!

12 thoughts on “Wildwood Whispers by Willa Reece”

  1. Excellent review Sandy. Sorry this one fell short. The narrators can really make or break a read. I’ve read a few where a certain voice was so distracting I couldn’t enjoy the book either.🙁📚💖

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back Kaceey. The main problem was that I became extremely bored…..there was really nothing about the characters that interested me, no character ‘magic’ if you like. I kept waiting for something to happen. I am still waiting. 🤦‍♀️🤷‍♀️❤📚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m listening to Amanda Robson’s The Unwelcome Guest, as well as reading it, Carla. It’s good, but not exceptional. I have a minor niggle with the narration of this also. But I am listening more than reading as we are stripping wallpaper in the lounge and plastering getting ready to paint while we are in lockdown. We may as well make good use of our time. I don’t believe we will be out of lockdown Wednesday, our daily cases are still climbing. ❤📚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I found the audiobook on Scribd, so hope to do a read/listen starting tomorrow. We were supposed to get out of lockdown last week and didn’t due to increasing cases. When will this end?? 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️ You are doing such an awesome job with all your renovating. It will be like a brand new house.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. It won’t end until people take personal responsibility and get vaccinated, and governments stop letting unvaccinated people into the country. There’s been protests in both Auckland and Wellington against lockdown, not violent as they have been in Australia, but still… it’s a really good way to spread it. 🤷‍♀️ We have our second vaccination this afternoon.
      We were planning on doing the lounge over our Christmas break, so it’s just been fast tracked. Maybe we can get away for a few days over Christmas . . . ❤📚


      1. I agree Sandy. All these protests make a bad situation worse. So glad you are getting your second shot today. Right now over 90% of the cases here in Ontario are the unvaccinated, but there are some that can’t get vaccinated like kids under 12 and medically compromised individuals and I feel bad for them, not the others who are just refusing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A lot of companies in Australia are implementing a no jab, no job policy. The company Pete works for here has done the same. Currently only 20% of New Zealanders are vaccinated, which is pretty poor. I gave my youngest brother a stern talking to this morning as he still hasn’t had his first jab! 🤷‍♀️ Stay safe my friend. ❤📚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. They are starting to that here as well. Right now all healthcare and education workers are mandated by the provincial government, employees can do it if they choose. All my family except for one sister’s grandchildren are not done, but it is just because they are too lazy, not anti-vaccers.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I think the lazy thing is a problem. My brother’s answer when I tackled him about not being vaccinated was that as long as most people are vaccinated this thing should get stamped out. I replied that a lot of people think like that so there’s going to be a lot of unvaccinated people around, and so Covid will just keep on keeping on. Hopefully he will now get vaccinated. My other brother and his wife are both done. My older son had an appointment last week but had to postpone because he wasn’t well. He had a test instead and was clear.

        Liked by 1 person

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