Monday, 3 July 2017

The Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse

Synopsis (from Goodreads

Pages: 387
Publisher: Penguin UK
Released: 3rd of July 2017

Fifteen-year-old twins Maisy and Duncan Mitcham have always had each other. Until that fateful day in the wood...

One night in 1960, the twins awake to find their father pulling their screaming mother from the house. She is to be committed to an asylum. It is, so their father insists, for her own good.

The twins are sent to the cold and distant grandmother's home, Nightingales - a large house deep in the New Forest countryside. Left to their own devices they explore, find new friends and first romances. That is until the day Duncan doesn't come home from the woods. Nor does he return the next day. Or the one after that.

When the bodies of other young boys are discovered in the surrounding area the police appear to give up hope of finding Duncan alive. With Mrs Mitcham showing little interest in her grandson's disappearance, it is up to Maisy to discover the truth. And she knows just where to start. The woman who lives alone in the wood about whom so many rumours abound. A woman named Grace Deville.

What I Have To Say 

I like Lesley Pearse books a lot. They're thrilling stories with great plot twists. But when I last read a book by her, I wasn't a reviewer so I wasn't really analysing the books in so much detail. So I was disappointed about a lot of things. 

The thing that I was most disappointed by was the characters. From a superficial viewpoint, her characters are interesting and intriguing and have great quirks. But all of this is explained to the reader. It's a very good example of an author telling the reader about characters rather than showing them. I found this especially with the children. Maisy got more of a personality as time went on and Grace Deville had some subtitles, but other than that the characters were really hard to engage with. 

And they never seemed to react to anything! I think there was one point when Maisy got angry, but other than that they were all so calm and reasonable and understanding of each others actions. It just felt so sensible and unrealistic. Especially for the children. 

I think Lesley Pearse writes great books for people wanting a beach read, a travel read or just a shut your brain of read. This is a great book about seeing passed prejudice, but it's best not to expect too much from the characters. 

My thanks go to Netgalley and Penguin UK for providing me with this copy for review. 

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