"A witchy story full of found family, lush nature, and small-town secrets.” —Hester Fox
"A magical, romantic tale about our essential connections to nature and to each other." —Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author
Step into a world of hope, fate, and folk magic in this bewitching debut when a young woman travels to a sleepy southern town in the Appalachian Mountains to honor her best friend.
Mel Smith’s life is shattered after the sudden death of her best friend, Sarah Ross. In an effort to fulfill a final promise to Sarah and find herself again, Mel travels to an idyllic small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. But Morgan’s Gap is more than she ever expected.
There are secrets that call to Mel, from a salvaged remedy book filled with the magic of simple mountain traditions to the connection she feels to the Ross homestead and the wilderness around it.
With every taste of sweet honey and tart blackberries, the wildwood twines further into Mel’s broken heart. But a threat lingers in the woods—one that may have something to do with Sarah’s untimely death and has now set its sights on Mel.
The wildwood is whispering. It has secrets to reveal—if you're willing to listen . . .
For more from Willa Reece, check out Wildwood Magic.
The Appalachian Mountains are alive with magic in this folksy, feminist contemporary fantasy from Reece (Hunger, written as Barbara J. Hancock). Mel Smith grew up hard, bouncing between abusive foster homes with only Sarah Ross, her unofficially adopted sister, as a constant. When Sarah dies in a car accident that might not have been so accidental, the now 23-year-old Mel travels to Morgan's Gap, a small Virginia mountain town, to scatter Sarah's ashes in the Ross family garden. Immediately taken in by the local herbalist known as "Granny," Mel finds a home in Morgan's Gap, discovering a surprising connection with both mysterious local biologist Jacob Walker and the woods on the edge of town. But there's darkness lurking beneath the town's façade. When an oppressive cult called The Sect and the town's bullying mayor threaten the peace Mel has finally found, she must learn to harness her burgeoning druidic power to fight back. Though the pace drags a little in the middle, Mel's story is full of human compassion and animal wisdom that will charm readers. This works both as a contemporary fairy tale and a slow-burning romance—and fans of both genres will appreciate this walk through the wild woods.