Wildwood

Overview

A single mother. An abandoned farmhouse. An epic battle with the northern wilderness.

Broke and desperate, Molly Bannister accepts the ironclad condition laid down in her great-aunt’s will: to receive her inheritance, Molly must spend one year in an abandoned, off-the-grid farmhouse in the remote backwoods of northern Alberta. If she does, she will be able to sell the farm and fund her four-year-old daughter’s badly needed medical treatment.

With grim determination, Molly teaches herself basic homesteading skills. But her greatest perils come from the brutal wilderness itself, from blizzards to grizzly bears. Will she and her child survive the savage winter? Will she outsmart the idealist young farmer who would thwart her plan to sell the farm? Not only their financial future, but their very lives are at stake. Only the journal written by Molly's courageous great-aunt, the land’s original homesteader, inspires her to struggle on.

Awards

Commended
Dewey Divas and the Dudes Winter 2018 Pick
2017

Reviews

Artfully melds the past and present for a story about homesteading. Likable characters deal with realistic, hair-raising scares and find hard-earned rewards in the wilderness.

Foreword Reviews

Offer this to city slickers dreaming of a simpler life and readers interested in unspoiled natural beauty.

Booklist

Reads like a love letter — from a mother to her daughter, from a Canadian to her land, from an author to her ancestors. In Molly Bannister, Elinor Florence has created a modern day Susanna Moodie roughing it in the Northern Alberta bush. The result is riveting, packed full of all the best stuff — peril, mystery, wisdom, laughs, and love.

Angie Abdou, author of In Case I Go

Elinor Florence’s Wildwood is one of those rare books you linger over the final pages of with melancholy, not wanting her poignant story to end. A well-written, well-researched portrayal of pioneering in the Peace Country with vivid intriguing characters who commune with the earth and are healed by nature.

Corinne Jeffery, bestselling author of the Understanding Ursula trilogy

The plucky single mother heroine of Wildwood survives extreme weather, wildlife, and rural, off-the-grid isolation in northern Alberta to tell a charming and inspiring story that charts her transformation from milquetoast urban accountant to empowered, self-sufficient farmwoman. Also heartwarming: the old-timey baking – recipes included – and the touch of romance.

Kim Moritsugu, author of The Oakdale Dinner Club

Elinor Florence’s love and respect for the ‘beautiful savage land’ of northern Alberta comes through loud and clear. Follow Molly and her great-aunt on their homesteading adventures and risk losing your heart to the wilds!

Alice Zorn, author of Five Roses

Taking this journey with Molly was exciting and delightful.

Literary Hoarders

Offer this to city slickers dreaming of a simpler life and readers interested in unspoiled natural beauty.

Booklist

What a glorious novel! With flawed and relatable characters, gorgeous description, and a loving but realistic look at a difficult lifestyle, Wildwood satisfies on every level. Through Molly’s modern eyes, we see the fortitude of pioneers in a refreshing way — and see our comfortable and rushed lives in a new way as well. Uplifting and thought-provoking, this is a novel to savor.

Sarah Sundin, award-winning author of The Sea Before Us and the Waves of Freedom series

Wildwood not only captures the quintessential Canadian struggle against the elements with extraordinary energy, it illuminates what lies in the marrow of life: love, legacy, and the spirit to endure. This is homesteading with high stakes, and Molly Bannister is a heroine who pulls us into her heart and takes us on a journey into our own notions of resilience and courage.

Jennifer Manuel, author of The Heaviness of Things That Float

A delight from start to finish and it offers a fascinating look at homesteading in the Peace River region.

Susan Juby, award-winning author of The Republic of Dirt

About the Author

Elinor Florence

Posted by Kendra on December 6, 2014
Elinor Florence photo

Elinor Florence

Elinor Florence is an author and journalist. Before publishing her bestselling novel, Bird’s Eye View, she edited several daily newspapers and wrote for many publications, including Reader’s Digest Canada. Elinor lives in Invermere, British Columbia.