This book is so full of colour and life and drips raw emotion with every word and each new chapter has its own scent and just so amazing that every adjective I use to describe this fantastic novel will be drab and dull and fail to do justice to the story and to the lovey Anna-Marie McLemore.
This magical tale is about the Nomeolvides women who are caretakers of La Pradera – a land that is now a lush garden teeming with every sort of flora – and are bound to it by blood. Not just caretakers actually, they are what makes the land thrive and the flowers boom. Each woman has her own flower which is tied to their name. Even their family name is a play on the pretty Forget Me Not blooms (Nomeolvides breaks down to no me olvides which is Spanish for “don’t forget me”.
While the land itself is owned by the neighbouring family, Briars, that proprietorship is a mere formality. For all intents and purposes, La Pradera is the Nomeolvides’ curse to bear, literally. Or so we are led to believe.
For as long as anyone had memory, longer than the Nomeolvides women had been at La Pradera, each generation had borne five daughters. Only daughters, always five, like the petals on a forget-me-not. And ever since La Pradera had gotten its hold on them, sure and hard as a killing frost, every generation of five daughters had been trapped in these gardens, like their hearts were buried in the earth.
Since the beginning the reader is made aware of the mysterious curse of this family of women who cannot be with their true love. Their one true love always leaves them, in most cases disappears right in front of their eyes. Which brings us to the state of the current Nomeolvides clan of fifteen women under one roof, three generations of them. 5 cousins in each generation. We have the abuelas, mamas, and mijas all living together in some semblance of harmony.
Now that was just part one of the curse. Another part of it is the fact that they cannot leave La Pradera behind. The children have been raised with the horrors of female ancestors that have tried to escape the land and have died in unexplainable ways.
This premise carefully nurtures a story of the racism against Hispanics and their culture in the West, while delving into the intricacies of familial ties which is what makes this tale an even better read.
I would recommend everyone to read this book, even if you aren’t a fan of the same genre. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
Until next time, U.
Book: Wild Beauty
Author: Anna-Marie McLemore
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends