Secrets In The Woods *Book Review*
Title: The Secret of Nightingale Wood
Author: Lucy Strange
Publish Date: October 31, 2017
Format: *ARC Paperback
Genre: Middle Grade/Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5 Stars
From The Back Cover:
1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees — or thinks she sees — in the shadows of their new home, Hope House.
All alone, with only stories for company, Henry discovers that Hope House is full of strange secrets: a forgotten attic, ghostly figures, mysterious firelight that flickers in the trees beyond the garden.
One night she ventures into the darkness of Nightingale Wood. What she finds there will change her whole world..
A very atmospheric and beautifully written story. Very reminiscent of classic favorites such as The Secret Garden and The Little Princess. A great story line, and some interesting twists.
The year is 1919 and Henry’s (Henrietta), family has just moved from London after the death of her brother. Swamped with grief, her mother is being “treated”by a Dr Hardy… Henry doesn’t like his methods, which keep her mother away from her and when her father leaves for a job abroad, he leaves her and her baby sister “Piglet” with Nanny Jane. As a result Henry spends most of her time in the woods near her home, eventually befriending a woman, whom she thinks is a witch, who lives in the woods. Left on her own.. Henry must find the strength to save her family.
The depiction of the treatment of mental illness, seems accurate enough for the time period..which is to say it seems cruel and illegal and was cruel, of course. Would probably need to discuss this with your child either before, during or after the reading of it. Again, it’s such a beautiful book and the words just flow off the page..though there were a few times where the story slowed and became a little repetitive. Still a 5 star read, in my opinion.
What I liked:
- the writing style, beautiful prose and great storytelling
- Henry a well developed character with a big heart, I just love how she learns to trust herself
- all the characters were well developed and you either loved them or hated them
What I didn’t Like:
- a few parts in the middle repeated themselves and slowed down a bit
Aside from a few slow parts, there was nothing I didn’t love about this book. 5 stars all the way, if you are a fan of such stories as The Little Princess, then this is for you. A wonderful story of loss, love, family and learning to trust one’s self.