Book of the Month is a monthly book subscription box. Each month, five curators pick out their favorite new hardcover books, and you can choose which one you want to receive on the first of the month for $14.99/month. You can also add up to two additional books for only $9.99 each. (This box was named one of the best subscriptions for avid readers in the 2022 Subscription Box Awards.)
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the editorial guidelines to learn more about how we review boxes.)
I'll be taking over the BOTM Club reviews and I'm pretty excited to be doing so. I'm one of those people that can (and have many times) read a book in one sitting. I get incredibly invested in both the characters and the story line and start to live the novel right along with them. My poor kids and husband, however, have had to endure my "just one more chapter" chant more times than they can count, and might not be quite as excited as I am for these reviews. Lucky for them, the BOTM club is only a once-a-month subscription (although, I'd be quite happy if it was weekly!). My absolute favorite genre is historical fiction, but I decided to branch out for this month's pick and opted for a book that isn't something I usually gravitate towards: magical realism.
My BOTM Pick for November
The Wilderwomen by Ruth Emmie Lang — Hard Cover Retail Value $27.99
Book Summary from Amazon:
Five years ago, Nora Wilder disappeared. The older of her two daughters, Zadie, should have seen it coming, because she can literally see things coming. But not even her psychic abilities were able to prevent their mother from vanishing one morning. Zadie’s estranged younger sister, Finn, can’t see into the future, but she has an uncannily good memory, so good that she remembers not only her own memories, but the echoes of memories other people have left behind. On the afternoon of her graduation party, Finn is seized by an “echo” more powerful than anything she’s experienced before: a woman singing a song she recognizes, a song about a bird…When Finn wakes up alone in an aviary with no idea of how she got there, she realizes who the memory belongs to: Nora. Now, it’s up to Finn to convince her sister that not only is their mom still out there, but that she wants to be found. Against Zadie’s better judgement, she and Finn hit the highway, using Finn’s echoes to retrace Nora’s footsteps and uncover the answer to the question that has been haunting them for years: Why did she leave? But the more time Finn spends in their mother’s past, the harder it is for her to return to the present, to return to herself. As Zadie feels her sister start to slip away, she will have to decide what lengths she is willing to go to find their mother, knowing that if she chooses wrong, she could lose them both for good.
Before I dive into my thoughts on Wilderwomen, here are the other November options. If you sign up before the month ends, you will still be able to choose from these books. Plus the BOTM Club subscription is pretty sweet. Most of these books retail at a much higher cost in stores, so for a huge bookworm like myself, this is a no-brainer!
We Are the Light by Matthew Quick
"In this moving tale of hope and redemption, an unlikely film production brings together a small town racked with grief." - BOTM
The Last Party by Clare Mackintosh
"Nobody likes the reflection in Mirror Lake when a dead body bobs to the surface and starts unveiling all their secrets." - BOTM
White Horse by Erika T. Wurth
"This no-nonsense, heavy-metal-obsessed Indigenous woman is determined to confront family ghosts even if it kills her." - BOTM
Someday, Maybe by Onyi Nwabineli
"Prep the tissues. This emotional, devastatingly frank account of grief’s many faces will have you in your feelings." - BOTM
My Thoughts on Wilderwomen
The moment I received this book, I dived in. Which wasn't a hard ask by any means, as it was 20 degrees with snow flurries and my only thought was to start a fire and read next to it until I had to pick my kids up at school. Which...is pretty much exactly what I did.
Before chapter one even begins, the book starts with a quick snapshot of Nora and Zadie Wilder's past. It's very brief, but it sets the stage for everything that is to come throughout the book. We quickly find out that Nora is Zadie's mother and there is a strange connection between the two of them and birds. It really doesn't make any sense at the time, but it is pretty apparent that birds will have a recurring appearance throughout the book. However, it won't be until the very end when the reader really understands what that is (and I promise, it's good!).
The book bounces back and forth between the past, present, and future, but it does so seamlessly and within the context of the current moment. Immediately into chapter one, we see Zadie all grown up and hoping to reconnect with her younger sister, Finn, who is about to graduate high school. Their mother, Nora, disappeared without a trace one day and they had since been separated. Finn was placed into a foster family's care and Zadie was forced to head out on her own due to being too old. Pretty early on, we also learn that both Zadie and Finn have a secret that they have been keeping from everyone. Zadie can see the future and Finn can see the past. What I found extremely interesting about their abilities is that Finn sees echoes of other people's memories and Zadie sees puzzle pieces to the future. Throughout the book they use what they see in order to try and piece together what happened to their mother.
I actually found myself relating to both of them despite not having anything whatsoever in common with either. They both have this "magnetic pull" to something they can't quite put their finger on or even understand. I think many of us have probably felt a similar pull at one point or another in our lives, whether it was to travel and experience the world, learn about the mysteries of our own family, or question what we are really supposed to do with our lives. I found this coming of age novel no different in that sense. They both felt lost and the adventure they embarked on to find their mother helped them to figure out where they both were supposed to be.
The book is extremely well-written and very easy to read. In fact, I read the entire thing in two days. I was cheering for the two sisters the entire way as they ran into old flames, a family who had crossed paths with their mother, and a desert commune of psychics. Honestly, writing all of this makes it sound like a crazy, out-there sort of book, but the author did an amazing job at bringing reality into the magical. If you are looking for a heart-warming story with a few twists and turns along the way, then I highly recommend The Wilderwomen!
If you picked Wilderwomen this month, please let me know what you think of it! I'd love to chat with other readers and get their opinions! I'd also love to know if you chose any of the other November BOTM Club picks. I'm always looking to add to my must-read list!
Value - Was This Box Worth It?
Yes! BOTM Club books range from $12.50-$16.99 depending on your chosen subscription. This is a pretty large savings over purchasing the book at retail prices. However, if this is your first month (like mine!) then you can receive this book for $9.99.
The Cost: $9.99 + free shipping
Value Breakdown: This box costs $9.99, but the book I chose retails for $29, which was a discount of about $19 for me. (Remember...this is first month only).
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this book if you sign up today? Yes! But you will need to sign up before November is over.
What do you think of the Book of the Month subscription? Let us know below with your own review!