Infamous by Lex Croucher and Weyward by Emilia Hart #bookreviews #HistoricalFiction

Infamous by Lex Croucher

Twenty-two-year-old aspiring writer Edith (“Eddie”) Miller and her best friend Rose have always done everything together—from climbing trees and sneaking bottles of wine, to extensive kissing practice. But Rose has started talking about marriage, and Eddie is horrified. Why can’t they continue as they always have?

Then Eddie meets charming, renowned poet Nash Nicholson––a rival of Lord Byron, if he does say so himself––and he welcomes her into his world of eccentric artists and boundary-breaking visionaries. When Eddie receives an invitation to Nash’s crumbling Gothic estate in the countryside, promising inspiration (and time to finish her novel, a long-held dream), she eagerly agrees. But the pure hedonism and debauchery that ensues isn’t exactly what she had in mind, and Eddie soon finds herself torn between her complicated feelings for Rose and her equally complicated dynamic with Nash, whose increasingly bad behavior doesn’t match up to her vision for her literary hero.

Will Eddie be forced to choose between her friendship with Rose and her literary dreams––or will she be able to write her own happily ever after?

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book to read and review.


What’s it about (in a nutshell):

Infamous by Lex Croucher is a historical LGBTQ romantic comedy set in the Regency of England. 

Eddie (short for Edith) and Rose have been friends since childhood. Now that they are 22, marriage becomes a priority for Rose, but it might come at the cost of Rose and Eddie’s friendship. Infamous took me on Rose and Eddie’s journey to find their future.

My Reading Experience:

This is the second historical romantic comedy I’ve read by Lex Croucher. Infamous is a book about writers (Eddie and the poet Nash Nicholson), and I loved that about it. Nash Nicholson brings Eddie into the world of the arts by inviting her to his arts nights with his friends, including other writers and artists. Such a meeting of the minds makes my heart very happy.

And I also enjoyed the wit, snark, and absolute cleverness found in the main characters. Eddie reminded me so much of Jo March (Little Women); what a great character to be reminded of. Also, the story overall (minus the much more modern LGBTQ+ storyline) reminded me of movies from the 1940s, such as Life with Father and Meet Me in St. Louis. Even though these movies occurred almost a century later than the book, many social conventions still existed, and the humor was very similar.

However, I found Infamous to be highly predictable. I love predictability, usually in a romantic comedy, but not this completely. The story failed to surprise me even in minor ways and lacked the tension often a given in any romance. The story simmers from beginning to end and barely even reaches that level. For that reason, I became bored very quickly, and that boredom didn’t change at any time in the story. I never became invested in the characters, their romance, or their struggles, so even though this story has the snark and wit that I love in a romantic comedy, that was the only thing it did have to my disappointment.

Weyward by Emilia Hart

I am a Weyward, and wild inside.

2019: Under cover of darkness, Kate flees London for ramshackle Weyward Cottage, inherited from a great aunt she barely remembers. With its tumbling ivy and overgrown garden, the cottage is worlds away from the abusive partner who tormented Kate. But she begins to suspect that her great aunt had a secret. One that lurks in the bones of the cottage, hidden ever since the witch-hunts of the 17th century.

1619: Altha is awaiting trial for the murder of a local farmer who was stampeded to death by his herd. As a girl, Altha’s mother taught her their magic, a kind not rooted in spell casting but in a deep knowledge of the natural world. But unusual women have always been deemed dangerous, and as the evidence for witchcraft is set out against Altha, she knows it will take all of her powers to maintain her freedom.

1942: As World War II rages, Violet is trapped in her family’s grand, crumbling estate. Straitjacketed by societal convention, she longs for the robust education her brother receives––and for her mother, long deceased, who was rumored to have gone mad before her death. The only traces Violet has of her are a locket bearing the initial W and the word weyward scratched into the baseboard of her bedroom.

Weaving together the stories of three extraordinary women across five centuries, Emilia Hart’s Weyward is an enthralling novel of female resilience and the transformative power of the natural world.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a digital ARC of this book to read and review.


What’s it about:

Weyward by Emilia Hart is a historical and women’s fiction mixed with a touch of magical realism to give it a few fantasy elements. The story, told from the POVs of three females from the Weyward (which means “wild woman”) lineage, encompasses three different points in time. Kate is the modern-day narrator who escapes her abusive partner once she finds out she is pregnant by hiding in her great-aunt’s house. Violet’s (Kate’s great-aunt) story is from the 1920s. She wants to study nature, mainly insects, at college. Yet, her father tries to force her to fulfill society’s expectations for a woman during that time, which is more of a homemaker than an academic. Lastly, Althea tells her story from the 1600s, mainly about charges brought against her for witchcraft and the resulting trial.

My Reading Experience:

Weyward is a challenging read. It is well written, but so much so that it makes it even harder to read than if it had been told by someone less talented. The writing envelopes you and makes you sit in the emotions of the three main characters as they live through deeply intense abusive situations at the hands of the men in their lives or community. The three different stories represent the more violent manifestations of misogyny.

The fantasy aspects come in because Weyward women are witches through their connection with nature. Animals will do their bidding, protect them, and keep them company throughout their lives. They also know natural cures using various plants found around them. Magic does not play a big part time-wise in the story, which is why I call it more a mix of historical and women’s fiction.

Weyward is an exceptionally well-written story that leaves much for readers to discuss with others, such as a book group or a group of friends. But it is not an easy read, nor is it an entertaining read. It is a slow-paced story with three narrators and three compelling, historically appropriate stories with a satisfying conclusion.

25 Replies to “Infamous by Lex Croucher and Weyward by Emilia Hart #bookreviews #HistoricalFiction”

  1. I also read Infamous and like it. I liked it a bit more than Reputation, but I still struggled with the story a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Many people kind of let the hard stuff wash right over them, which I find very interesting. Abuse isn’t a trigger for me but I wonder if being a counselor makes me read it more deeply. I’ll be curious to see what you think.


    1. It’s getting better. I’m still in the splint but I move around well – I’m back to zipping up and down the hall at work 😂. But it’s very sore when I get home, and I still can’t descend the steps in a normal manner without significant pain. So, it’s getting there. Progress is definitely being made.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I knew you were feeling challenged with Weyward, but I’m glad you were able to finish it. I’m still hesitant to start it.
    Wonderful reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A lot of people seem to let the hard stuff kind of wash right over them (and I’ve actually been asking, “Didn’t you find it hard to read about the abuse, rape, etc…?” And they admit that those parts are hard but go on to talk about how they love witches or how well it’s written. It’s very interesting to me to find such reactions. Abuse and all isn’t any kind of trigger for me but I wonder if being a counselor makes me prone to read those parts more deeply than others do. If you do read it, I’ll be curious to see what you think.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Those issues aren’t normally a trigger for me either, but like you, I’m still sensitive about those things. Though, once I start feeling bad, it’s so hard for a book to pull me out of it, if that makes sense.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I was seeing these both a lot recently and thought would keep them on the radar but now I doubt if I ever want to read them. Nothing surprising and nothing entertaining is not something I enjoy. Great reviews!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like the setting of Infamous and I’m always a fan of snark. Sorry it didn’t work better for you, Tessa. I still don’t think I could read Weyward. I’d definitely have to get in the proper mindset to give it a try.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have found reactions to Weyward very interesting. I’ve even been so bold as to ask questions 😂. It’s like many readers have let all the bad stuff just kind of fly right by, which I find very interesting.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Both great reviews, Tessa. I hope I can get through Weyward. I have both the ebook and audiobook, so I shall see how it goes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great reviews!! Yeah, I agree about Weyward not being an easy read. The topics are very hard and all the abuse is tough to read through.

    Liked by 1 person

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