I was fortunate enough to have been sent an ARC of Posie Graeme Evans’ new book, Wild Wood, over the summer and sat in my little coastal eyrie having one of those experiences that I love with reading. You know the one – where you can’t wait to go to bed at night to read the next chapter and the next?…
Before I go any further, I need to qualify this review by saying that Posie and I met some years ago and became good friends. We swap writing woes and wail on each other’s shoulders about the latest hiccup that has emerged from the belly of our books. But Posie plays her cards very close to her chest and I knew nothing of the way this book would unfold, which makes the reading of it so much more special.
As with any review I have done through the years, I avoid regurgitating the plot and subsequently any spoilers for future readers.
Bottom line for me in any book is this: does it entertain me? For that, read does it keep me engaged?
Wild Wood did.
It’s an interesting ‘time slip’ novel, and to be honest, ‘time slip’ hasn’t ever really caught my interest. But Wild Wood allows one to look at a Norman timeframe from a 1980’s viewpoint and it is only a short step into Chapter One before the first threads of the Norman setting begin to loop through the narrative. I found that intriguing.
Posie’s settings are always beautifully researched and rendered and thus eminently believable. Once, a reviewer said of my own work that it is ‘written in 3D and surround sound’. Well, Posie Graeme Evans’ Wild Wood, is all of that and more…
I also found the characters’ points of view handled with real finesse. Many writers would shrink from attempting the multi viewpoints but it is handled with slick ease in Wild Wood. It gives the novel depth and as one reads, one becomes deeply involved with both timeframes via the characters’ experiences and thoughts.
Posie is also a master of the nuance. It is perhaps why she has excelled at TV drama production and there were times as I continued through the novel, where I felt fear and anxiety, just the way her characters did.
My favourite characters were of course the Normans – they are raw and edgy and for me, I love to escape through the prism of history.
The modern characters had depth, don’t doubt it, and their responses to the confronting situations thrown their way showed an understanding of human nature that would be the envy of many writers. Posie wove past and present lives together into the most flawless and exciting way so that the denoument flowed naturally rather then being lost in a tangle. When I finished the novel, I said to myself, ‘Wow. She pulled it off!”
This is such a different story, way out of my experience, and as I said, I enjoyed the reading greatly. If you are a Norman England aficionado and want to read a wholly different approach to the timeframe, I suggest you try Wild Wood. It’s available at all bricks and mortar retailers and also via all the online retailers.
Simon and Schuster produced a book trailer for the launch.
So congrats, Posie. And get writing. I can’t wait for the next book…