Daughters of the Wild

Daughters of the Wild

2.84 (281 ratings by Goodreads)
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2.84 (281 ratings by Goodreads)

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"A gorgeous, different, and completely engrossing book. Burian's writing is transporting -- and exactly what I needed right now."
-- Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object: A Memoir

In rural West Virginia, Joanie and her foster siblings live on a farm tending a mysterious plant called the vine. The older girls are responsible for cultivating the vine, performing sacred rituals to make it grow. After Joanie's arranged marriage goes horribly wrong, leaving her widowed and with a baby, she plots her escape with the help of her foster brother, Cello.

But before they can get away, her baby goes missing and Joanie, desperate to find him, turns to the vine, understanding it to be far more powerful than her siblings realize. She begins performing generations-old rituals to summon the vine's power and goes on a perilous journey into the wild, pushing the boundaries of her strength and sanity to bring her son home.

Daughters of the Wild is an utterly absorbing debut that explores the female mind in captivity and the ways in which both nature and women fight domination. Like The Bell Jar set in rural Appalachia, Daughters of the Wild introduces a fierce new heroine and a striking new voice in fiction.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 157 x 231 x 25mm | 431g
  • English
  • Original ed.
  • 0778310019
  • 9780778310013

Review quote

"Daughters of the Wild is a gorgeous, different, and completely engrossing book. Burian's writing is transporting - and exactly what I needed right now."
-- Jessica Valenti, author of Sex Object: A Memoir

"With prose as luminous and transformative as the psychoactive plant at this novel's core, this is a book about dignity, intuition, and the sustaining vine of friendship. A perennial read."
-- Courtney Maum, author of Costalegre

"Daughters of the Wild is that rare thing, a gorgeously written and richly imagined page-turner that plows full speed across your heart. Writers like Karen Russell, Joy Williams, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez spring to mind, but Natalka Burian's voice is her own: lyrical, spunky, and defiantly untamed. It's a voice we'll be reading for a long time to come."
-- Adam Wilson, author of Sensation Machines

"Natalka Burian's Daughters of the Wild is a stunning portrait of a woman seeking to recover her stolen child and her own autonomy in the face of control and confinement. Saturated with magic and mysticism, this novel is a luminous and blisteringly real exploration of the bonds of motherhood, the limits and expansiveness of love, and the possibility of transcendence."
--Jessie Chaffee, author of Florence in Ecstasy

"Daughters of the Wild is a magical, gripping exploration of women's power and the ties that bind. I was hooked by Joanie and Cello's journeys to survive and grow and by Burian's writing, which is as lush as the garden her characters give their all to. I won't forget the complexity and the strength of these characters."
-- Danielle Lazarin, author of Back Talk

"Daughters of the Wild is a novel about history, our connection to the Earth, and above all, mother's intuition. This is an engrossing, startling debut and Joanie is a force of nature."
-- Madeline Stevens, author of Devotion

"With utter believability Daughters of the Wild brings to life a whole kingdom of grimy, shamanist Virginia Gothic that exists just a short hitchhike away from our contemporary world. Keep your wits about you as you step across the border - but don't delay too long, because revolution is already stirring in Natalka Burian's spellbinding debut."
- Ned Beauman, author of Madness Is Better Than Defeat
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Rating details

2.84 out of 5 stars
- 281 ratings
5 10% (28)
4 17% (48)
3 31% (87)
2 31% (88)
1 11% (30)
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