Hunt for a Lost Manuscript in “Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders”
Julianna Baggott’s heartbreaking novel Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders merges a hunt for a missing manuscript and family secrets that define three generations of women.
Years after the famous novelist Harriet Wolf died, her loyal fans are convinced that there’s still a seventh manuscript out there. Harriet had a turbulent relationship with her daughter Eleanor, which in term affected the lines of communication with Eleanor’s children Ruth and Tilton. After running away from home at the age of 16, it is not until her mother is hospitalized that Ruth and the family reunite to come to terms with Harriet’s legacy.
Baggott’s narration alternates between Harriet, Tilton, Eleanor, and Ruth. Although this could be confusing for some readers, it is essential to see how Harriet’s descendants are still suffering the ramifications of their matriarch’s decisions. The novel explores a dysfunctional family whose issues carry over throughout three generations, but despite their issues, in the end it is Harriet’s love for her daughter that finally brings healing to her family.
The theme of love, especially between mothers and daughters, is especially prevalent throughout the book. By the time the story ends, Eleanor and her two daughters have finally come to terms with their past and are able to move on from the trauma they experienced growing up.
Baggott’s characters are quirky but engaging, and readers who enjoy strong female characters will instantly be attracted to the eccentric Harriet who worked as a motorcyclist in a circus before becoming a novelist. Her characters are also relatable and anyone who has ever felt tension within their family will instantly sympathize with Eleanor, Ruth and Tilton.
If you’re looking for a captivating novel, Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders will draw you in with its heartbreaking tale about the love that exists between mothers and daughters.