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Wildwood by Elinor Florence []



Accountant and single mom Molly Bannister is out of money and luck in Phoenix when she unexpectedly inherits her great aunt’s homestead in northern Alberta. The only catch: she must live there for one year to claim the inheritance. Molly promptly packs up her four-year-old daughter Bridget and heads north, expending the last of her meager resources to get there and intending to live off the farm’s rents from month to month until she can sell the farm and return, financially secure. Molly and Bridget gain numerous skills over the course of the year, as well as a puppy, a kitten, and friends including some nearby farmers and Wynona, a girl from the adjacent First Nations reserve. Molly even begins to develop feelings for the idealistic farmer renting her land. They survive run-ins with nature: getting lost in the woods, bumping into a grizzly bear mother and her cub, and being stuck in a surprise blizzard. Molly and Bridget’s story is interspersed with charming entries from the great-aunt’s 1924 diary of her first year in the house, as Molly counts down the days remaining in the required year of residence. A great pick for city slickers dreaming of a simpler life and readers interested in unspoiled natural beauty.

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