Tea & Book Chat: Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood

*This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This is no way swayed my opinions.*

Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood is the first book I have read by this author and upon finishing, I quickly added her Cahill sisters trilogy to my TBR.  I devoured Wild Swans within a day of starting it and I wish there were more to the story because I fell in love with the characters.  Wild Swans tells the story of Ivy, a young girl who isn’t really sure of her place in the world or what she wants to do.  Her mother left her when she was a child so she was instead raised by her grandfather and housekeeper and she’s spent her life trying to live up to the legacy of the Milbourn women.  Wild Swans is a contemporary that tackles some serious issues and handles them very well.

Wild Swans

Each character in Wild Swans is well developed and complex which is not an easy feat in such a short novel.  I immediately took a liking to the main character Ivy who is always trying to please everyone.  She’s had a tough life and despite the situations her family puts her in she is still always thinking about their feelings and acting rationally when it would be really easy to do otherwise.  She seems like the kind of person I would be great friends with.  I don’t want to reveal much about some of the other characters in Wild Swans because I don’t want to spoil anything but trust me when I say that the relationships are messy and complicated and handled so so well.  Wild Swans also tackles some major social issues relating to gender and sexuality and I just want to hug Ivy’s friend Claire because she is the awesomest.  The romance in the story is cute and sweet but it isn’t my favorite and I found myself much more interested in Ivy’s family dynamics.  If I had one complaint about Wild Swans it would be that I want to know more about what happens after the resolution.  I feel invested in these characters and I just have so many questions. I hope Jessica Spotswood will write a sequel or a short story epilogue or something!

Final Thoughts:  Wild Swans by Jessica Spotswood is a complicated and messy contemporary about a girl named Ivy who comes from a long line of passionate and talented women.  It’s a story of self discovery and finding out how you fit into the world during those crucial teen years.  It tackles heavy hitting subjects like gender, sexuality and feminism but the characters are truly what drives this story.  Wild Swans has a lot of heart and I wish I could read more about what’s going on in Ivy’s life. I definitely recommend this one and I’m glad I already preordered a copy!

Rating 5

The summer before Ivy’s senior year is going to be golden; all bonfires, barbeques, and spending time with her best friends. For once, she will just get to be. No summer classes, none of Granddad’s intense expectations to live up to the family name. For generations, the Milbourn women have lead extraordinary lives—and died young and tragically. Granddad calls it a legacy, but Ivy considers it a curse. Why else would her mother have run off and abandoned her as a child?

But when her mother unexpectedly returns home with two young daughters in tow, all of the stories Ivy wove to protect her heart start to unravel. The very people she once trusted now speak in lies. And all of Ivy’s ambition and determination cannot defend her against the secrets of the Milbourn past…. (via Goodreads)

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Kristin