'Wildflower Hill' a blend of romance, history

Beattie Blaxton is distraught when she finds herself with child in 1930s Ireland, being neither married nor even engaged to the child’s married father.

After she's kicked out of her parent’s home and unsuccessfully tries to give her unborn child up for adoption, her lover Henry comes to the rescue and spirits her away to Australia.

But life there is still not easy for Beattie, as Henry, having fled his legal marriage, turns out to be quite a drinker and spendthrift who also has a problem with gambling. Soon Beattie decides to take her chances alone with her young daughter Lucy in a town where an unmarried mother is not looked upon kindly.

Beattie secures a job as a maid at a struggling sheep farm called Wildflower Hill. Her future begins a slow revolution that takes her from the bottom rungs of society to the upper echelons of wealth and power. But along the way, there is much she will have to sacrifice.

Two generations later, Beattie’s granddaughter Emma is having her own struggles. As a star ballerina who is just hitting the upper age range for a successful career, Emma suffers a career-ending injury. After wallowing in her own misery following her accident and an untimely breakup, Emma decides to return home to Australia to stay with her parents during her recovery.

Once there, Emma is mysteriously called into her grandmother’s lawyer’s office to take receipt of the last piece of her inheritance. But it’s not wealth that has been imparted to her — it’s her grandmother’s farm, Wildflower Hill.

Curious to find out just what her grandmother Beattie has meant for her to discover, Emma embarks on a trip to Tasmania and Wildflower Hill, where she will learn the truth about herself and about her grandmother’s past.

Australian author Kimberley Freeman captures the awesome untamed beauty of Tasmania in the charming novel “Wildflower Hill." Freeman gives her readers the story of two women cut from the same cloth, yet so very, very different.

Freeman blends the past with present in a tale that will evoke sorrow, joy, love and a sense of heartfelt satisfaction. It was amazing to learn about the island of Tasmania and the sheep and wool industry that is prominent there, and Freeman’s inclusion of the history of the wool industry’s contribution to World War II is a delightful piece of this complex but beautiful story.

Fans of contemporary romance and historical fiction will enjoy “Wildflower Hill.”