A motherless girl hungry for hope . . . and the dream that could be leading her astray.
Almost two years have passed since twelve year-old Allie Granderson’s beloved mother Mary disappeared into the wild tornado winds. Her body has never been found. God may have spilled out his vengeance on all of Mattingly that day—but it was Allie’s momma who got swept away.
Allie clings to memories of her mother, just as she clings to the broken compass she left behind, the makeshift Nativity scene assembled in Allie’s front yard, and to her best friend, Zach. But even with Zach at her side, the compass tied to her wrist, and the Nativity characters just a glimpse out the window, Allie cannot help but feel lost in all the growing up that must get done.
When the Holy Mother disappears from the yard one morning, Allie’s bewilderment is checked only by the sudden movement of her mother’s compass. Yet the compass isn’t pointing north but east . . . into the inky forest on the outskirts of Mattingly.
Following the needle, Allie and Zach leave the city pavement behind and push into the line of trees edging on the Virginia hill country. For Allie, the journey is more than a ghost hunt: she is rejoining the mother she lost—and finding herself with each step deeper into the heart of the darkest woods she’s ever seen.
Brimming with lyrical prose and unexpected discoveries, In the Heart of the Dark Wood illustrates the steep transition we all must undergo—the moment we shed our child-like selves and step into the strange territory of adulthood.
This is a story that slowly unravels and once you are in the “heart” of it you won’t want to turn back.
Allie is like so many students I see come into my classroom everyday. She is lost but wants hope. She clings to hope that might not be real and walks away from the One hope the can save her.
I loved how real Allie felt. The book begins with a very real situation that every woman has experienced and Allie must deal with without a mother. I can’t even imagine how hard that would be.
Then there is the fear of how grown men are looking at her. The feeling is a like snake curled up in my belly.
Once Allie decides to go after her missing Mary things get very interesting and scary. I could feel the woods wrapped around me, the cold in my toes and nose.
Billy did a great job of making this story feel real even though there is some very supernatural stuff going on.
This is the second book and I did not read the first one. I felt like I could understand what was going on but I also felt like I wanted to know what happened before, like I was missing something. But I don’t think you need to read the first book to appreciate and enjoy this one.
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An e-copy of this book was given to me by the publisher through Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.