Book Recommendation: Where the Wild Cherries Grow


“In the morning light the house looks sad, softly decaying. The yellow stone around the doors and windows is crumbling and green with lichen, but once it must have glowed, radiating the heat of a summer’s day. The creepers choking the walls must once have been climbing flowers, the wilderness of grass a lawn for games and picnics. All around, the trees echo with birdsong. Would Emeline Vane have heard the same songs, fifty years ago?” –Laura Madeleine, WHERE THE WILD CHERRIES GROW

Publisher Synopsis:

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.

What really happened to Emeline all those years ago?

My Recommendation:

There is nothing that so enchants the imagination like a dual period story of ghosts and loss, empty old houses, decadent sensory details, and rich shores of color in faraway lands. WHERE THE WILD CHERRIES GROW is an absolute buffet of these novel ingredients.

The story of the reluctant protagonist of 1969 is every bit as interesting, compelling, and moving as the tale of the heroine of 1919. The reader will not be able to turn pages fast enough as the lives of the solicitor charged with proving a woman dead so the family might sell an old house, and the journey of a woman fleeing the family who wishes to lock her up rather than seek her healing, converge on the shimmering shores of Cerbère–the last French town before Spain.

The contrasts of William’s and Emeline’s lives before their travels move from black and white to luxurious color, waisted frames to healthy bodies, hollow spirits to those overflowing with life. In spite of bad decisions and missteps, these characters triumph and find redemption, and the conclusion of the novel is both surprising and deeply satisfying.

At times reminiscent of THE HAUNTING OF HILL HOUSE to BEAUTIFUL RUINS to LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE, WHERE THE WILD CHERRIES GROW is a rich, memorable story with a cast of characters the reader won’t soon forget. As one of my favorite reads of 2018 so far, I give the novel my highest recommendation.

The publisher has kindly offered two books for a giveaway to US and Canadian readers. For a chance to win a copy, simply comment below with your favorite historical or multi-period novels, and share this post on social media by Friday, February 16th at 5 PM ET. Good luck!



18 thoughts on “Book Recommendation: Where the Wild Cherries Grow

  1. Kristi Martin says:

    The Darkening Leaf by Caroline Strickland was one of The first historical fiction book to really catpture my imagination. It is my favorite genre with too many wonderful books to single out a true favorite.

  2. Brenda Mason says:

    My favorite historical fiction book of 2017 is The Scribe of Siena by Melodie Winawer. It’s so well written and the story has everything: art, time travel, love, and a dastardly plot involving the plague. I couldn’t put it down!

  3. I just finished reading “Mr. Dickens and his Carol”— it was fantastic, and definitely now among my favorites of historical fiction!

  4. Melissa Crytzer Fry says:

    I really enjoyed The House Girl as a multi-period novel, and am currently reading The Weight of Ink (which is SO good – the contemporary story is holding up to the historical, which – for me – generally is not the case. I LOVE it). Also recently adored The River of Kings (which has THREE concurrently storylines, and they are all SO well done)! This sounds fabulous as well!

  5. Laura R says:

    As a young reader I was addicted to Victoria Holt and then anything Camelot related. Recently I read Marie Benedict’s The Other Einstein which was really fascinating and am currently starting Carnegie’s Maid.

  6. Julia Fischer says:

    Some of my all time favorites are “The Thorn Birds,” “Pillars of the Earth,” and “Gone with the Wind.” It’s hard to choose because this is my favorite genre, but those books are the ones that I read early on.

  7. Laurice McClung says:

    My favorite is Outlander!

  8. Somer Hanson says:

    I read just about anything set in the WWI and WWII time period. There are so many stories to tell, and more than 70 years later amazing stories continue to be told. I’m currently reading “We Were the Lucky Ones” by Georgia Hunter.

  9. erikarobuck says:

    ***Winners chose by Somer Hanson and Melissa Fry!! Congratulations!!!***

  10. […] WHERE THE WILD CHERRIES GROW, by Laura Madeleine […]

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