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Wych Hazel   By: (1819-1885)

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In Susan Warner's novel, readers are transported to the beautifully depicted world of Wych Hazel. Set in rural England, this enchanting tale follows the life of its spirited protagonist, Hazel Thorpe, as she navigates the challenges and triumphs of love, family, and personal growth.

Right from the first chapter, Warner skillfully captures the essence of the picturesque countryside, painted with vivid descriptions that effortlessly transport readers into the heart of Wych Hazel. The author's attention to detail is impeccable, allowing readers to visualize every scene as if they were walking alongside the characters. From the golden sunlight filtering through the ancient oak trees to the earthy scent of blooming wildflowers, Warner's prose is truly immersive.

Hazel Thorpe, the novel's protagonist, is an endearing character whose journey readers will undoubtedly root for. Despite facing numerous setbacks and heartaches, Hazel's unwavering determination and resilience shine through. Warner expertly explores the complexities of Hazel's emotions, giving readers a deep understanding of her dreams, fears, and inner struggles. Additionally, the supporting characters are equally well-crafted and contribute to a rich and intricate tapestry of relationships.

Perhaps one of the novel's greatest strengths is the exploration of various themes. Warner weaves in themes of love, loyalty, forgiveness, and the importance of embracing personal growth. Readers are invited to reflect on the complexities of human nature and the transformative power of love, both romantic and familial. Through Hazel's experiences, the novel poses thought-provoking questions about the nature of happiness and the pursuit of one's dreams.

Warner's writing style is elegant and eloquent, displaying a remarkable command of language. The dialogue is natural and realistic, effortlessly conveying the characters' emotions and inner thoughts. The narrative flows smoothly, punctuated with moments of tension, tenderness, and heartache that keep readers engaged from start to finish.

While the pacing of the novel may be considered slow by some readers, it is this deliberate slowness that allows for a deeper exploration of the characters and their relationships. The development of the story may require patience, but the payoff is well worth it, as it allows for a satisfying and emotionally resonant conclusion.

In conclusion, Wych Hazel by Susan Warner is a beautifully written novel that immerses readers in a world of love, family, and personal growth. With its stunning descriptions, well-crafted characters, and thought-provoking themes, this book is a captivating read. Warner's ability to transport readers to the heart of Wych Hazel is nothing short of remarkable, making this novel a must-read for fans of historical fiction and heartfelt stories.

First Page:

Susan Warner, 1819 1885 & Anna Warner 1824 1915, Wych Hazel (1876), Putnam's edition 1888

Wych Hazel seen by The Atlantic monthly , Volume 38, Issue 227, September 1876, pp. 368 369

"It may well be questioned whether the authors of the Wide, Wide World have added to their fame by this new novel. In the first place, the story it tells is one of no marked merit or originality, and the way in which it is told is in the highest degree crabbed and unintelligible. There is such an air of pertness about every one of the speakers, and the story is told almost entirely by means of conversations, that the reader gets the impression that all the characters are referring to jests known only to themselves, as if he were overhearing private conversations. As may be imagined, this scrappy way of writing soon becomes very tiresome from the difficulty the reader has in detecting the hidden meaning of these curt sentences. The book tells the love of Rollo for Wych Hazel, and indulges in gentle satire against parties, round dances, etc. The love story is made obscure, Rollo's manners are called Spanish, and he is in many ways a peculiar young man. We seem to be dealing much more with notes for a novel than with the completed product."



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