The Beloved Wild

The Beloved Wild

Harriet Winter is the eldest daughter in a farming family in New Hampshire, 1807. Her neighbor is Daniel Long, who runs his family's farm on his own after the death of his parents. Harriet's mother sees Daniel as a good match, but Harriet isn't so sure she wants someone else to choose her path—in love and in life.When her brother decides to strike out for the Genesee Valle...

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Title:The Beloved Wild
Author:Melissa Ostrom
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Beloved Wild Reviews

  • Allie

    I loved this book! The main character disguises herself as a boy to leave her home (and the whittling farmer her family presumes will become her husband) in New Hampshire and start a life as a pioneer in the Genesee Valley of New York. This switch created a slew of interesting, funny and odd situations. It also brought to mind many of the gender inequalities that still exist today. As a modern reader, I could definitely understand why she chose to trade her dress for pantaloons.

    The main characte

    I loved this book! The main character disguises herself as a boy to leave her home (and the whittling farmer her family presumes will become her husband) in New Hampshire and start a life as a pioneer in the Genesee Valley of New York. This switch created a slew of interesting, funny and odd situations. It also brought to mind many of the gender inequalities that still exist today. As a modern reader, I could definitely understand why she chose to trade her dress for pantaloons.

    The main character Harriet aka Harry aka Freddy is surrounded by a cast of wonderful (and in some cases quirky) characters that readers will come to love, hate (in a few cases) or at least find amusing. The setting is an important character in the book as well.The descriptions of the natural world made me feel like I was living in the book and experiencing the wild beauty of that part of the United States at that time.

  • Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)

    First, I have no idea why I thought that this was a fantasy, but spoiler alert, it isn't. Oops? This is what happens when I don't read blurbs, but that is okay! I actually liked it better this way, so it's a win. Anyway. I found this to be an enjoyable and quick book! Most of my thoughts are positive, and as always, we'll start with those.

    First, I have no idea why I thought that this was a fantasy, but spoiler alert, it isn't. Oops? This is what happens when I don't read blurbs, but that is okay! I actually liked it better this way, so it's a win. Anyway. I found this to be an enjoyable and quick book! Most of my thoughts are positive, and as always, we'll start with those.

     I love that the family relationships are complicated. Some of the relationships are super close and loving, and some frankly aren't, which seems incredibly realistic.

    She has tons of strengths, but also tons of flaws. I especially loved that she was willing to accept her flaws, acknowledged when she was wrong, and tried to do better. She was also not okay with the time period's nonsense way of treating women, which... I feel you, girl. It's 

    nonsense, but in Harriet's day... well, obviously it was an even hotter mess. And she wasn't here for it.

    I love a trek through the wilderness, especially in pre-automotive eras. It's all so... daunting and perilous! And in Harriet's case, clearly this is all new to her.

    Even though I did have a minor qualm with the relationship (see below) it really was super cute.

    Speaking of relationships,

    I became really invested in all the characters, even the more minor ones. And they added a lot of humor and fun to the story.

    If you've ever been in the Batavia, New York area... well, I was having fun imagining it as 

    rural back in the day.

    Which wasn't terrible even, in this case, since I was mostly here for the history and relationships anyway!

    I don't really understand what made Harriet start liking Daniel after wanting to be rid of him. I didn't really buy it, she was just apathetic until she wasn't, but...

    . However, I 

    like it a lot after I got over that bit!

    I definitely enjoyed this historical fiction novel with an incredibly heartwarming cast of characters, and a lot of love shared among them!

    *Quote taken from uncorrected proof, subject to change

    **Copy provided for review

  • Emma

    Grade: B-

    An ARC was provided by Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Listen, I am always here for YA historical fiction. There needs to be more of it, in my opinion. So

    was definitely right up my alley.

    In a lot of ways, it didn't fit into what I normally expect from YA historical fic. In other ways it did, especially when Harriet disguised herself as a boy.

    Harriet didn't feel that unique to me. She was just...there. I was more interested i

    Grade: B-

    An ARC was provided by Macmillan in exchange for an honest review.

    The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Listen, I am always here for YA historical fiction. There needs to be more of it, in my opinion. So

    was definitely right up my alley.

    In a lot of ways, it didn't fit into what I normally expect from YA historical fic. In other ways it did, especially when Harriet disguised herself as a boy.

    Harriet didn't feel that unique to me. She was just...there. I was more interested in Gideon and Rachel as characters. In fact, I really wanted more from Harriet and Rachel's developing friendship. I appreciated how Harriet protected Rachel at the end, but it didn't feel like quite enough. Also, I didn't feel the chemistry between Harriet and Daniel Long. I know I was supposed to, but I felt more like I was being told they had chemistry and I should think they were a good match. I did feel the chemistry between Rachel and Phineas, and I was pleasantly surprised by the direction Gideon's story took.

    I did enjoy all the parts about life in rural New York. It was nice to see a pioneering historical fiction book set some place besides the West or the Plains states. It did take a little while for Gideon and Harriet to actually set off for Genesee Valley, which wasn't necessarily a problem...I just wish the book's synopsis hadn't made it sound like that was the main part of the book.

    Finally, this is a bit nitpicky, but ages were vague, and if they were stated, they didn't quite fit the characters. Most of them seemed much older than their stated ages.

    I don't remember any foul language or extreme violence. There's some sexual innuendos, and a character is abused off-page.

    The Verdict: Pretty good. Worth the read, especially if you like historical fiction.

  • Lisa

    A lovely historical look at farming and making your way in uncharted territory.

    PLUS, I do love some good "girl dresses up as a boy" action!

  • Stacey

    I will read ANYTHING you want to send my way that is set is pioneering times. I am obsessed with the books and true life story of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I also love stories about the Oregon Trail. "The Beloved Wild" sounded right up my alley! This is the story of Harriet and her family. She is tired of all the chores that a woman is expected to do and annoyed by the things she can't be allowed to do as a girl. Her parents are pushing her to marry their neighbor and friend Daniel Long and she rese

    I will read ANYTHING you want to send my way that is set is pioneering times. I am obsessed with the books and true life story of Laura Ingalls Wilder. I also love stories about the Oregon Trail. "The Beloved Wild" sounded right up my alley! This is the story of Harriet and her family. She is tired of all the chores that a woman is expected to do and annoyed by the things she can't be allowed to do as a girl. Her parents are pushing her to marry their neighbor and friend Daniel Long and she resents being pushed toward him far more than she actually resents him. In fact Harriett probably would have been interested in him long ago if everyone else would butt out. Harriet's brother Gideon decides to leave their home. He's the youngest of the brothers and wants something of his own. Harriett convinces him to take her along and she chops her hair and assumes the identity of a young man who happens to travel with Gideon.

    The story was really interesting. The journey of course is most of the fun. Along the way they must deal with a new stranger and their old friend Rachel who has had a shocking and terrible experience. The story definitely didn't shy away from showing some of the bad things of that time period but it doesn't focus too heavily on them. It is a well rounded and entertaining story.

    I had one problem with the book and that is why I am removing one star from the rating. For this premise to work, Harriett had to be a forward thinking woman. But I found her attitudes about feminism really ahead of the times and it was jolting to read her thoughts sometimes. Her internal musings did not at all fit with women of that time period. I think her feminism (Love it) was awesome, but it also could have been presented in a more realistic to the time period way.

  • Jennifer

    The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom is the story of Harriet Winter and how she doesn't want to become a wife that is used and abused and not cherished. She doesn't want to be sold off as livestock to the highest bidding husband. So she decides to strike out with her older brother while he starts his own farm. Harriet thinks this will be a wonderful adventure. Sadly, she finds out that life outside of her tiny little town might not be what she was hoping for.

    Harriet is one of those girls who doesn

    The Beloved Wild by Melissa Ostrom is the story of Harriet Winter and how she doesn't want to become a wife that is used and abused and not cherished. She doesn't want to be sold off as livestock to the highest bidding husband. So she decides to strike out with her older brother while he starts his own farm. Harriet thinks this will be a wonderful adventure. Sadly, she finds out that life outside of her tiny little town might not be what she was hoping for.

    Harriet is one of those girls who doesn't believe that the firstborn son should be entitled to inheriting everything. It sucks even more for her when her older brother is a gambling idiot and not mature enough to run a farm. Harriet doesn't want to be married off to live a life of servitude. She doesn't want to pop kids out and possibly die in childbirth. She wants to be more. This leads her to strike out with her older brother as he tries to start his own farm in Genesee Valley, NY.

    This book was a tad bit slow and boring for me. It was really just about a girl who wanted more in life than her gender allotted her for the time period. Her humor and the overall feel of the book made me think of Little Women if it had taken place on a farm. I really don't have much else to say about the book. It was pretty straightforward without many added twists and turns. The plot was pretty basic and I just think the book wasn't exactly my cup of tea but I know plenty of people who would enjoy the book.

    In the end, Harriet learned that sometimes, what you already have is the best thing for you. It's not wrong to want to explore your options but not everything is greener on the other side. Also, the way the synopsis read, it seemed like Harriet would realize she loves someone ELSE. I didn't think it would be the same person.

    Overall, I gave the book 3.5/5 stars.

  • Barbara

    Harriet Winter is tired of the expectations for women in her small New Hampshire town. It is a female's role to cook, clean, sew, and bear children in 1807, and she chafes at the idea of submitting to her future husband and most likely dying in childbirth as was the case for her own mother. Although she likes Daniel Long, her intended husband, well enough, she also longs for freedom, independence, and adventure. After burning all bridges at home when she loses her temper, she decides to accompan

    Harriet Winter is tired of the expectations for women in her small New Hampshire town. It is a female's role to cook, clean, sew, and bear children in 1807, and she chafes at the idea of submitting to her future husband and most likely dying in childbirth as was the case for her own mother. Although she likes Daniel Long, her intended husband, well enough, she also longs for freedom, independence, and adventure. After burning all bridges at home when she loses her temper, she decides to accompany her brother Gideon into the wilderness of New York where he is hoping to establish his own homestead and farm so that he can make plans to start his own family. Harriet cuts her hair, puts on men's clothing, and passes herself as a man. Although it might be hard for some readers to relate to her feelings and to her situation, it is not hard to root for her despite her flaws. Her brashness and her floundering lead her into trouble more often than not, but she deserves much credit simply for wanting more than is her lot. It intrigued me that she was so determined to get away from society's expectations and Daniel, and yet, she eventually realizes that part of what she wanted was right there in front of her. A secondary plot involving her friend, Rachel, and what happens to her in the wilderness adds to the book's appeal, highlighting some of the drunkenness that caused problems in those isolated areas. There are parts of this historical fiction that will delight and surprise readers, and there are sections that will make them heave a sigh of relief not to be living in those times. I was struck by Daniel's love for the trees and the creatures whose homes were being destroyed by the settlers, a harbinger of what was yet to come in succeeding generations. I was excited to read this book by a debut author and am eager to read more from her in the future.

  • mith

    I WANT THIS

  • emma

    you can

    on my blog right now??? and if you don't like books, what are you doing on this website, and if you don't like free stuff, you are not a person.

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