3.5 star, adult

Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood: Amazon.ca: Ware, Ruth: Books

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room….

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

Yet another Ruth Ware, albeit one of her oldest ones. I just couldn’t resist, there’s something about her work that draws me in, and need I have any other reason to pick up the novel and read it? Although this may not have be my most highly rated one from her, I was certainly captured by the spookiness of the setting of this thriller – I had very real goosebumps from the beginning all the way until the end.

This story is set in an eerie forest inside an almost entirely glass house, clear from all sides, in supposedly what is a summer getaway spot. The story follows the main character Leonora, who is called to a bachelorette (or hen) party by a friend she left behind long ago to this very house. Immediately as we get to the glass house, something feels off, or at least very creepy. The house is completely surrounded by the dark woods, giving the impression of eyes looking into the house from all sides at all times. Even the bathroom hardly has any privacy. I found that this was a great setting for all the suspenseful action to take place.

For me, the plot felt fairly average, nothing too special about it – there were the usual red herrings, the feeling that any or all of the parties involved could be guilty, and it’s a classic case of the main character suffering from amnesia trying to remember desperately the details of the night before. However, I thoroughly enjoyed the way this thriller was written from its first person perspective. Ruth Ware masterfully crafts all the elements of a thriller – I was genuinely nervous from the first sentence of the book. It made me feel like I was also searching through hazy memories for the truth of that night, which for me marks the feel of a true thriller!

Overall Recommendations:

In a dark, dark wood is a story of our main character, Leonora, struggling to remember what happened on a tragic night in a creepy glass house during a failed bachelorette party. What secrets from the past surface to haunt her at this party, and why can’t she remember what happened? A truly thrilling experience from beginning to end, if you are the type of reader who enjoys the experience of reading through the novel for the way the suspense and tension pulls you along, you will definitely enjoy this book. Despite its relatively normal plot, I was completely spellbound along with Leonora in search of the truth.

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