Allie and her husband Rav and their two small children have moved into the picture-perfect little cottage on the outskirts of some woods in the British community of Pluckley. This promises to be the beginning of a long, happy life together.
But Pluckley has a reputation – it is known as the most haunted village in all of England.
Shortly after the birth of their son, Allie begins to notice strange things – from scratching noises coming from the chimney and a ghostly white figure moving through the woods behind the house. Allie, alone with the children throughout the day as Rav goes to work, explores the history of the area and of their home and learns of a history of witchcraft that might still exist today.
Slowly, Allie loses control of herself and her senses. Is this that witchcraft pulling her in, or is it, as the local doctors claim, just a case of post-partum depression? And what is Rav up to through all of this?
There is definitely a nice, creepy sense to this book, giving it the spooky atmosphere that you want in this kind of book. The mystery of who’s behind all this – is she crazy or is there a supernatural element behind everything? – is a bit overworked.
By the end of the book, I was tired. I was tired of what seemed like a constant ‘maybe she’s just crazy’ infusion in the book. Every time Allie would start feeling something supernatural, we’d get someone (Allie, Rav, or friends) suggesting she’s just not herself. I wish I had counted how many times this occurred, but I was nearing the end of the book when I actually said aloud, “Again? Just get on with the it!”
Some of this also has to do with the character of Allie. We’re never really given the chance to understand her, or (which would be better yet) to like her. Her relationships with others, even her own kids, seems really impersonal so it’s difficult to rally behind her.
I was definitely expecting some stronger story-building and not a reliance on the same trope over and over.
Looking for a good book? In a bookstore filled with mysteries and supernatural stories, Lisa Hall’s The Woman in the Woods does not not stack up well.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Woman in the Woods
author: Lisa Hall
hardcover, 368 pages