Sunday, February 1, 2015

#REVIEW: In The Heart of the Dark Wood by Billy Coffey

Title: In The Heart of the Dark Wood
Series: none
Author:  Billy Coffey
Published Date: October 28, 2014
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Format: paperback
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9781401690090
Genre: fiction
Add to: Goodreads
Purchase: Amazon

Rating: 4 ½ stars

Synopsis: 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.

My Review: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
This was a book that was so slow in its action; it seemed to drag out like a sloth on a cold February day. On the other hand, the storyline somehow wound itself into my soul, so that when I wasn’t reading it, I was wondering about it. When I got to the last few chapters of the book, it had finally gotten to a place where I couldn’t be ripped away from the book. The end was just amazing, and it was because of that end the book deserves every one of those 4 ½ stars it gets from me.

The characters were well-written. Allie had a voice that I could hear in my head, she truly stood out for me. From trying to constantly be the strong one in her family and never giving up hope, and at the same time, dealing with becoming a woman, when she had no idea what was going on, Allie is a character I won’t soon forget. Zach as well, had a maturity about him that made him stand out. The author didn’t write him so adult-like that he lost his childhood innocence, but at the same time, you could see the core strength that would end up making him a good man one day. And Sam, how could anyone forget about Samwise the Dog, faithful to the end like his namesake. There were so many parallels between Samwise the Dog and Samwise the Hobbit, it made me love the pooch just as much as I loved the hobbit. If you’re going to name a character after a famous character like Samwise Gamgee, you have large boots to fill. The author did a great job of it. If not, I think it would have partially ruined the book for me.

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