I haven’t done a book review in a while… for two reasons, somewhere in the midst of adapting to being a mom of two, I lacked the time to read and slowly my passion for books started to dwindle and because I haven’t read anything worth raving about in a while, until this weekend… In The Fields by Willow Aster.
Willow Aster has only published two books, her first novel, A True Love Story, which I reviewed previously and it still stands out as one of my favourite stories of all time. So when I discovered that she had recently release her second novel, In The Fields, I knew I had to read it because I love Willow’s writing, so I downloaded In The Fields this weekend.
1971 — In the tiny, backward town of Tulma, Tennessee, optimistic, bookish Caroline Carson unwittingly finds herself in the middle of a forbidden romance. Severely neglected by her family and forced to flee Tulma to protect her secrets, Caroline’s young life comes crashing down around her. She finds refuge in a new town, but the past always has a way of stretching around time and stirring up trouble.
In The Fields is a beautiful and poignant story of forbidden love that spans a 6 year period. I loved this book, the story is unique, set in the 1970’s South, filled with what I imagine (as a non American)are characters typical of that time and place. The characters are beautifully developed, the story is powerful and will take you from heart singing high’s to crushing lows, the story made me happy and it made me very sad with lots of twists and turns.
It’s a difficult book to write a review on without giving the story but it explores the themes of family being more than shared blood and genetics and it takes a look at bias and prejudices of the time, through the eyes of Caroline, who’s drunk father abandons her and who’s ex beauty queen mother ignores her and eventually abandons her too.
In The Fields is a love story but that is only one of the many themes of the book and it is light on the side of romance and and heavy on the emotional. I cried great big crocodile tears and so many points during this book.
In a nutshell, In The Fields is a hopeful and yet desperately painful story about bravery and survival in the face of trauma and prejudice.
I’ve given it a 5 star rating on Good Reads and would love to hear what you thought about it.