Thank you Harper Books for the free copy of What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine. All opinions are my own.
When I began reading What Should Be Wild, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. I had heard the buzz words "magical realism" floating around the bookstagram sphere and was curious. But not curious enough to read any reviews ahead of time. I knew I wanted my experience with this book to be my own, as it had been far too long since I had read something magical and fairy tale-ish. Something I would not want to put down until it was finished, and I was crossing my fingers this book would deliver.
My experience with this book was just that. Once I started, I had a hard time distancing myself from the story for very long. I also had a hard time picking up the other book I'm currently reading! I couldn't stop thinking about Maisie. Or the women in the woods. Their stories honestly captured me more than Maisie's did. I was delighted that we were given a chance to peer back in time and witness what had brought them to the woods beyond Urizon.
If I'm being honest, the ending (particularly the last few chapters) felt rushed in a vague sort of way. It made sense and the ending was satisfying without a doubt, but I wanted more. My understanding of what brought the women to the woods is still a bit shaky. Maybe I've been away from fairy tale reading for too long and am expecting too many answers! Certainly the beauty of some stories are the parts left open for interpretation. But with this one I wanted to know all the details! And the whys. And hows.
That aside, I gave this book four stars on Goodreads because I would most certainly recommend it to a friend. Or strangers I see wandering the aisles of the bookstore looking for something interesting. I loved the story! I loved how different and original the tale was from start to finish, while also developing Maisie's view of the world and her own coming of age. Julia Fine wrote a beautiful tale of a girl with a fairy tale story to tell and I loved it.