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Wildwood Whispers  By  cover art

Wildwood Whispers

By: Willa Reece
Narrated by: Kamali Minter,Grace Rolek,Andrew Kishino
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Publisher's Summary

A heartwarming tale of hope, fate, and folk magic unfolds when a young woman travels to a sleepy southern town in the Appalachian Mountains to bury her best friend.

At the age of 11, Mel Smith’s life found its purpose when she met Sarah Ross. Ten years later, Sarah’s sudden death threatens to break her. To fulfill a final promise to her best friend, Mel travels to an idyllic small town nestled in the Appalachian Mountains. Yet Morgan’s Gap is more than a land of morning mists and deep forest shadows.

There are secrets that call to Mel, in the gaze of the gnarled and knowing woman everyone calls Granny, in a salvaged remedy book filled with the magic of simple mountain traditions, and in 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 that has now set its sight on Mel.

The wildwood is whispering. It has secrets to reveal - if you're willing to listen....

Praise for Wildwood Whispers:

"Readers craving a witchy story full of found family, lush nature, and small-town secrets will find it utterly enchanting." (Hester Fox, author of The Witch of Willow Hall)

"A feast for the senses. Willa Reece has written a magical, romantic tale about our essential connections to nature and to each other." (Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times best-selling author)

"Dark, tender, and thought-provoking, Wildwood Whispers is a beautifully woven tale of fantasy, feminism, and mystery set in rural Appalachia." (Constance Sayers, author of A Witch in Time)

"Willa Reece has perfectly infused magic, suspense, and a love of nature deep into the pages of this novel. Ultimately filled with hope, love, and the power of growth and resilience, Wildwood Whispers is a thought-provoking, memorable debut." (Heather Webber, USA Today best-selling author of Midnight at the Blackbird Caf)

©2021 Willa Reece (P)2021 Orbit

Critic Reviews

"A feast for the senses. Wildwood Whispers is everything I love in a book and I fell under its spell. Willa Reece has written a magical, romantic tale about our essential connections to nature and to each other." (Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times best-selling author)

"Willa Reece has perfectly infused magic, suspense, and a love of nature deep into the pages of this novel. Ultimately filled with hope, love, and the power of growth and resilience, Wildwood Whispers is a thought-provoking, memorable debut." (Heather Webber, USA Today best-selling author of Midnight at the Blackbird Café)

“Dark, tender, and thought-provoking, Wildwood Whispers is a beautifully woven tale of fantasy, feminism, and mystery set in rural Appalachia.” (Constance Sayers, author of A Witch in Time)

What listeners say about Wildwood Whispers

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The best book I have heard all year

Willa Reece has woven a tale full of wonder, life affirming characters in a story mainly about the connections we choose to make in life. Her descriptions are magical. If you are looking for a book that lifts your heart and warms your soul, purchase this because you are going to want to read it more than once. I can not wait for the sequel - 2022 can not come fast enough for me.

25 people found this helpful

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Lovely and Magical

This is kind of exactly the type of book I needed now. Even with all of the conflict and problems, it still felt warm and lovely and the development was wonderful.

20 people found this helpful

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Thank you narrators for telling us this story.

Thank you Willa Reece for writing this book and outstanding story to listen to.

16 people found this helpful

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Missing authentic language amidst lovely prose

Having knowledge of the foster care system is essential to this story! If your protagonists were sent from home to home you should guess that there education was hindered if not splintered! You never made mention is Mel’s love of reading. How did she get so articulate that prose rolled off her tongue in such an impressive manner. Moreover my husbands family were rural country people! They had skills and life way views that were amazing. There speech was studded with unique words but never flowery language. There skills were indeed handed down from mother to daughter, but not even a college educated daughter would speak as though she was working on a PHD in literature. Her grandchildren were the first to go to college. They still speak country slang! My biggest concern was how you missed basic “country”. No one in the south “breaks” beans. They “snap” beans; they “tote “ their baskets and you left out the cast iron skillet, which is essential for cornbread. Cornbread is still the daily bread of the poor in the south! Your beautiful language skills did nothing for my heart,nor to give the people in your story an authentic language to reach my heart. Simple language for country folk; sophisticated language for academics! Keep writing!

3 people found this helpful

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Don't Bother

I wanted to like this book but could not. I was hard pressed to finish it, but wanted to see if the predictable conclusion held true. It did. The occasional big word could not hide the childish writing style, immature and overly descriptive first person dialogue, and cliche man hatred. Maybe it was meant for 14 year old girls, but not for me or mine!

2 people found this helpful

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Wanted this to be better than it was

This started out so promising. But even as a woman, and a feminist, I’m so tired of stories in which every man is the enemy and root of everything evil. The magic and mystery could have been wonderful without that heavy handed approach.

2 people found this helpful

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Very mystical, women strong, men 2-dimensional

This story started out keeping my attention, even though it was Very descriptive. But it turned from a bit of magical realism to very mystical, with a strong worship of nature. Women characters were strong and interesting and lesbianism was common, but most male characters were evil and/or two-dimensional. Definitely seemed like author has an issue with men. I would not recommend.

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More "poetry" than an actual book

Not my cup of tea. Someone must have told the author that if you add a bunch of extra flowery words to a sentence it'll make a better book. It doesn't. All the poetic descriptions of every single thing is just annoying. There's no actual substance to this book.

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Deacriptive writing + Magical Realism

Descriptive writing at its (almost) best.
The detailed writing did drag the story a bit too much but this is a beautiful story.

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Beautiful description of the scenery

I don’t normally write comments but I really enjoyed this story. The descriptions of the Appalachian community makes me want to visit the area and meet the people. I know it is fiction but do know the beauty of a peaceful forest and the mystical creatures that live there.

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  • Sophia Maria Nicolopoulos
  • 09-18-21

The storyline was predictable...

While the narration made the story sound better and time went on easily, the story is not close to what I expected. It's predictable and with unsurprising plot points. The writing is excellent but the story didn't hit the mark in many respects and I feel disillusioned to say the least.

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Profile Image for L H Hennessy
  • L H Hennessy
  • 08-21-21

Enchanting story

A delightful story with folk magic, friendship and sisterhood. The narration is excellent too, addingto the magical atmosphere