Book Review: in a dark, dark wood

I’m running through moonlit woods, with branches ripping at my clothes and my feet catching in the snow-bowed bracken.

What it’s about:

The story starts off with Nora in a hospital bed, with no memory of what has happened.  All she knows is that she’s hurt pretty badly, and someone is dead.  Rather than wondering who, Nora is trying to piece together what she’s done.

Back home, Nora is a crime fiction writer living on her own in a small apartment that she rarely leaves.  She hasn’t seen Clare in ten years, but accepts an invitation to her bachelorette weekend out in the woods.  The moment she arrives, she quickly regrets being there.

There was something strangely naked about it-it felt like we were in a stage set, playing our parts to an audience of eyes out there in the wood.

My Review:

I loved that Ruth Ware included the Halloween story of In a dark, dark room.  Except, if memory serves me correctly, the original version included a dark, dark shelf and in the box was a ghost.  Perhaps she wanted to recreate her own version.  Either way, it was a great way to set the tone for the book.

I liked that this story was narrated by the main character, Nora.  It begins in the present where she finds herself in the hospital trying to remember what happened.  As she’s trying to figure out the details, we’re taken back and forth from the present to the past in order to piece everything together.

While the book was off to a great start, as I got to know Nora, I started hating her.  She was this grown woman who was still hung up over her high school boyfriend, someone who couldn’t stick up for herself and cared what others thought.  The real kicker was her relationship with Clare.  I mean, come on..Clare invites her to her hen, but doesn’t invite her to the wedding.  Yet, Nora still decides to go even though she doesn’t want to. 

As as the door opened I saw a flash of bright blond hair, and I had a moment of complete panic. This was a mistake. I should never have come, but it was too late to turn back.

I thought it was pretty obvious why she was only invited to the party, which really could’ve been settled over a cup of coffee at a cafe.  But then I guess we wouldn’t have a story now would we?

Reese Witherspoon must scare easily, because it wasn’t a scary story like I had hoped.  There were parts that moved a little too slow for my liking and missed the mark on wowing me.

However, it was enjoyable enough that I would give it another go at her next novel, The Woman in Cabin 10

Genre: Mystery/thriller



Published: July 30, 2015


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