Fiction Book Reviews

Historical Fiction | Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine

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Don’t you just love a story that hooks you in with the prologue and Where the Wild Cherries Grow certainly did that for me!  I had so many questions in April 1919 … and as in Laura Madeleine’s debut novel, The Confectioner’s Tale, I was deeply involved in this story throughout.

Where the Wild Cherries Grow Laura Madeleine

Format: Kindle Edition

File Size: 2793 KB

Print Length: 368 pages

Publisher: Transworld Digital; 01 edition (23 Mar. 2017)

Language: English


How far must you run to leave the past behind you?

It is 1919 and the end of the war has not brought peace for Emeline Vane. Lost in grief, she is suddenly alone at the heart of a depleted family. She can no longer cope. And as everything seems to be slipping beyond her control, in a moment of desperation, she boards a train and runs away.

Fifty years later, a young solicitor on his first case finds Emeline’s diary. What Bill Perch finds in the tattered pages of neat script goes against everything he has been told. He begins to trace an anguished story of love and betrayal that will send him on a journey to discover the truth.

I closed my eyes as I tried to pick apart every flavour, because nothing had ever tasted so good before. It was love and it could not be hidden.

What really happened to Emeline all those years ago?

If you read my reviews you’ll know I’m a fan of dual timelines.  In Where the Wild Cherries Grow, Emeline Vane narrates in 1919 from shortly after her mother’s death at Hallerton in Norfolk and Bill Perch narrates in 1969 London on his quest as a solicitor’s assistant.  The two different times in history felt authentic.  The sleepy village of Hallerton in 1919 not dissimilar to how it is in 1969 although very different to the hurly burly of 1969 London.  I think it shows how real the story felt to me as I pondered after the story ended if they continued the same festivals in Cerbére in 1969 or had they been forgotten!  I loved the mirroring in the dual timelines of the two train journeys and the significance of the crows.

I do have a favourite character!  Clémence.  She is so solid and ‘present’ (no doubt at all why she is known as Maman) however it’s something unseen and intangible but with such an impact that drew me to her.  Cerbére is an amazing community with depth and belonging.

The story has a great pace with the conflict known at the start of the story and with the timelines drawing closer and closer to the resolution, lots of tension for me (would I get the ending I wanted?  Not just for Emeline but for Bill too).  I always think it’s such a skill to create a story that takes the reader full circle.  Whilst on the one hand I didn’t get the ending I wanted (don’t get me wrong it made perfect sense), in another way I did …

Entertainment and escapism doesn’t get much better than with these characters and their lives in Where the Wild Cherries Grow.  Highly recommended.  Don’t miss it!

(psst, food is important in the story and with her culinary background, Laura Madeleine has created an apt recipe, Wild Cherry Cake.  How awesome is that!).



Connect with Laura Madeleine

Author Website

Twitter @esthercrumpet

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 8+ years. My love of reading, crocheting and being out in nature are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school. I'm passionate about early help and sharing strategies with families to empower and help build resilience. I'm a member of of my Local Authority's Early Help Operational Board, working alongside other professionals to instigate change and growth.

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