Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Publisher: Quercus Children's Books
Released: 21st of April 2016
The woods were insane in the dark, terrifying and magical at the same time. But best of all were the stars, which trumpeted their light into the misty dark.
Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father.
Slowly, Castley and her siblings start to test the boundaries of the laws that bind them. But, at school, they’re still the freaks they’ve always been to the outside world. Marked by their plain clothing. Unexplained bruising. Utter isolation from their classmates. That is, until Castley is forced to partner with the totally irritating, totally normal George Gray, who offers her a glimpse of a life filled with freedom and choice.
Castley’s world rapidly expands beyond the woods she knows so well and the beliefs she once thought were the only truths. There is a future waiting for her if she can escape her father’s grasp, but Castley refuses to leave her siblings behind. Just as she begins to form a plan, her father makes a chilling announcement: the Cresswells will soon return to their home in heaven. With time running out on all of their lives, Castley must expose the depth of her father’s lies. The forest has buried the truth in darkness for far too long. Castley might be their last hope for salvation.
What I Have to Say
This book had so much suspense that I was on the edge of my seat for the last few chapters. The world that the Cresswell's live in, that there father has so painstakingly made and taught them to believe in seems so obviously abusive at the start, that it's hard to see why Castley and her siblings don't question it sooner, but his control over them and the beliefs that he's raised them to believe in become more apparent throughout the books, so that the reader has so much sympathy with the characters by the end.
The sibling relationships were interesting too. It was interesting to see how close they were, but also how much they fought and argued amongst themselves. It very realistic to the bond between brothers and sisters, but also showed how the abuse of their father and fear of the outside world that they know very little about draws them closer together.
I think that some parts of this book will stay with me for a long time.
My thanks go to Quercus and Netgalley for providing me with this copy to review.