‘You’re telling me there are fairies in this wood?’
When Alice’s brother gets a longed-for chance for a heart transplant, Alice is suddenly bundled off to her estranged grandmother’s house. There’s nothing good about staying with Nell, except for the beautiful Darkling Wood at the end of her garden – but Nell wants to have it cut down. Alice feels at home there, at peace, and even finds a friend, Flo. But Flo doesn’t seem to go to the local school and no one in town has heard of a girl with that name. When Flo shows Alice the surprising secrets of Darkling Wood, Alice starts to wonder, what is real? And can she find out in time to save the wood from destruction?
Thoughts before you started reading In Darkling Wood?
CHRISSI: It’s Emma Carroll. It’s bound to be perfect right?
LUNA: Emma Carroll, Emma Carroll, Emma Carroll, gimme, gimme, gimme!!! (Hey I never said it would be cohesive did I?) Seriously though, I’ve loved both Emma’s previous books; Frost Hollow Hall & The Girl Who Walked On Air so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this.
What did you think of Alice?
CHRISSI: I absolutely adored Alice. Emma Carroll has a way with making me immediately adore her characters. They’ve always got so much depth to them. I think Alice grows a lot throughout this book, which I really appreciate. I loved her story.
LUNA: The first chapter of In Darkling Wood begins with a phone call from the hospital saying there is a heart for Alice’s little brother. It’s actually a pretty dark beginning, Alice is stoic as she watches her little brother and mum go into the hospital while she is left with her grandmother, a woman she’s never even met, and now is supposed to stay with.
I liked Alice. She handles herself well in the book. There are also moments where you want to climb into the pages and rescue her. (Or in my case go yell at parental figures, what is it with father fails in the books I’m reading lately…)
CHRISSI: It’s so hard to pick a best bit because I enjoyed reading it all so much. I love stories with fairies in and this book was particularly beautiful. I really loved the fairies. I do believe in fairies. I do. I do!
LUNA: I really want to say the whole book but I guess if I had to pick I’d like to highlight the split narration, the letters in-between the story. I enjoyed those and “the phone call” towards the end of the book. You’ll know which one I’ll mean when you get to it. 😉
CHRISSI: It being over far too soon?
LUNA: With Emma Carroll there is no bad.
CHRISSI: I adored Alice and Flo. ❤ The whole book was beautiful though.
LUNA: Like Chrissi, I liked both girls. I especially liked Flo’s voice and her conviction/belief in regards to the fairies.
Was In Darkling Wood what you expected?
CHRISSI: It exceeded my expectations as per usual. I’m not sure why Emma was so anxious about us reading this book! We both know she’s all kinds of awesome! 😉
LUNA: Yes, I expected to love this book and I did. The only complaint is that Emma’s next book (The Snow Sister) isn’t out until October 2015 – how am I going to last until then?
Would you recommend it?
CHRISSI: Without a doubt!
Thank you to Faber & Faber
for sending us copies of In Darkling Wood for review.