Beth's Book Review

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware (Scout Press, 2015)

Think Hitchcock. Think old-fashioned psychological thriller. Think good writing. If you have read and loved The Woman in Cabin 10, Ware's most recent novel, you will enjoy her first publication, In a Dark, Dark Wood.

Leonora Shaw, a crime writer, awakens, bruised and befuddled in a hospital bed. Frightened and confused, Nora tries desperately to recall the weird events of the last couple of days, in which she was the guest at a “hen party” for her former best friend, Clare Cavendish. Even more perplexing than her memory loss is the fact that a policeman is stationed outside her hospital room. Nora struggles to figure out if she is, in fact, the victim or the perpetrator of some crime that she cannot remember? As the bits and pieces of the weekend return to Nora's memory, she becomes increasingly alarmed and unsure if she does want to remember the specifics of what happened.

Sign Up for E-News

Leonora, or Nora as she is known currently, had been perplexed when she received an e-mail invitation to a “hen party” for her former best friend, Clare, from Clare's current best buddy, Flo Clay. Nora has not seen Clare for ten years, since Nora fled from home at age 16 after a horrible break-up with her childhood sweetheart, James. Upon leaving home Nora reinvented herself totally, but was never willing to open herself to another relationship.

However, intrigued by the invitation to the hen party, despite the fact that she has not been invited to the wedding, Nora decides+ to travel to Kielder Forest to join the other guests at a unique home called the Glass House, owned by the aunt of Flo Clay, the woman who has organized this most unusual weekend, After the guests have convened, each introduces him/herself in a Murder on the Orient Express procession of characters. Flo, who had replaced Nora as Clare's best friend at the university, clearly idolizes the cool and beautiful Clare, which is a little weird in itself. In fact, Flo is inexplicably desperate that this party be perfect for her gal-pal, which mystifies Nora as the weekend progresses. As the plot twists inside out, Flo seems to unravel with each glitch to her carefully conceived party plans, fearing that failure of each event designed by Clare, will spoil the weekend.

Nina da Souza, now a doctor, goes back to high school days with Clare and Nora. She bears resentment toward Clare for outing her as a lesbian in a cruel and untimely way, but she comes to honor her old friend at the hen party anyway. Tom Deauxina, a gay actor, is the only male invited to the bash, and the final guest, Melanie Blaine-Cho, a very recent Mommy, had been a housemate of Clare and Flo's in college. It is an odd assortment of guests, who have gathered in a dark, dark wood to celebrate Clare's impending nuptials.

The peculiar thing about this odd assortment of party goers is that none of them, including the bride, who, oddly, has left her rather large engagement ring home, feels particularly joyful in celebrating the impending wedding. Why has this particular group of people been brought together, Nora wonders? And when Nora learns the identity of the groom, she is even more perplexed as to why she has been invited for Clare is engaged to Nora's old beau, James.

Although the characters could have been sketched in more fully, In a Dark, Dark Wood is a quick and fun read, with a very twisted ending. This is the kind of novel that's great to throw in the beach bag and read on a sunny day. Or, better yet, read it late in the night with the wind howling and the branches of the trees scratching at your window. Either way In a Dark, Dark Wood is a strange and uncomfortable tale about the ramifications of mistakes made during adolescence.

 

Beth Moroney, former English teacher and administrator in the Edison Public School District, specialized in teaching Creative Writing and Journalism. Recently Moroney published Significant Anniversaries of Holocaust/Genocide Education and Human/Civil Rights, available through the New Jersey Commission on the Holocaust. A passionate reader, Moroney is known for recommending literature to students, teachers, parents, and the general public for over forty years. Moroney can be contacted at trackdak19@hotmail.com.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

South Plainfield

The Athlete of the Week: Shaun Boffard Boys’ Bowling

The South Plainfield Boys’ Bowling Team continues from their success of last season.  Coming off a Blue Division Title, and having many bowlers returning, The South Plainfield Boys’ Bowling Team has high standards for the season.  The team started off the year by defeating South River 4-0 on Friday, December 1, 2017.  The Tigers then traveled up to Bergen Catholic High ...

Investors Bank October 2017 Fed Normalization Process

The Federal Reserve has increased interest rates twice this year and could do so again in December.  But the economy is hardly booming along and inflation remains tame.  Are the central bankers crazy?  No!  They simply are trying to add some monetary policy arrows to their largely empty quiver.

The near collapse of the world financial system in 2008, forced the Fed to take ...

Obituaries

South Plainfield – Nina “Antonina” Basilone (DiPasquale) passed away unexpectedly ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor from Mayor's Wellness Committee

December 14, 2017

Letter To The Editor:

South Plainfield Mayor Matt Anesh and the Mayor's Wellness Committee hosted the 2nd annual Anti Drug and Alcohol Conference at the South Plainfield Senior Center on December 5, 2017.  "Dr. " Nick Sottiriou and I began contacting a panel of guest speakers, who would be able to inform the residents and guests about various ...

Community Happenings

Santa Paws is Making a Stop at the Southside Dog Park

December 12, 2017

Are you in need of a Christmas card photo with your fur baby this year? Well, the Southside Dog Park has just the ticket for you! Join us for photos with Santa, and mingle with other dogs.  Bring your camera this Saturday, December 16th from 10 am to 11 am at the Southside Dog Park located on New Market Avenue.

South Plainfield Students Spread Cheer to Show They Care

December 12, 2017

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Handmade inspirational and holiday cards created by students at John F. Kennedy and John E. Riley Elementary students will soon be on their way to hospitalized children throughout the United States.

Earlier this month, a character education initiative focusing on ‘caring’ and ‘kindness’ was launched at the two schools. “We really ...

Holy Savior Academy Presents The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

December 10, 2017

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ  -  Holy Savior Academy in South Plainfield presented their fall production of Barbara Robinson’s classic story, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, on December 1st.  The cast and crew featured 65 performers from the school’s Drama Club from third through eighth grades.

“I think the kids did a fantastic job,” said Eva Tripodi, Enrichment ...

Bishop James Checchio visited Holy Savior Academy

Bishop James Checchio visited Holy Savior Academy on Tuesday November 28th.  Bishop Checchio was the main celebrant of the school mass held at The Church of the Sacred Heart.  This Mass also coincided with the 8th Grade Ring Ceremony.

Bishop Checchio spoke to the students, families and friends in attendance about “Thanking God first.”  He also spoke directly to the ...

The South Plainfield Lions Club Celebrates 70 Years of Service

December 6, 2017

As we all begin to reflect on another year past, your South Plainfield Lions Club continues to serve the community.  This year, we are helping over 100 families through FISH enjoy meals for the holidays.  

This year alone, we have provided over 1000 pounds of vegetables to local soup kitchens.  This ensures that those in need can continue to receive meals throughout the ...

Press Release – Residential Burglary

South Plainfield Police responded to a residential burglary which occurred on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017, shortly before 1:00 PM to a home on Woodland Ave.  Access was gained to the home and electronic items and jewelry were stolen.
A witness saw two black men 20's-30's dressed in all black, both wearing black hoods one carrying a large black duffel bag with red trim walking ...

Middle School National Honor Society Help to Decorate Senior Center

The Middle School Junior National Honor Society was instrumental in hanging all the beautiful decorations at the senior center.   The students set aside 3 afternoons to complete the task.

 Donna Tierney is the advisor of this amazing group of students.    The teachers took the time to walk students after school to the Senior center and supervise their ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_f9fc3740a6a1263d1b78_piper_santa

Sat, December 16, 10:00 AM

South Plainfield

Santa Paws is Making a Stop at the Southside Dog ...

Carousel_image_c57619d1c8eb0a49bca6_impact_church

Sat, December 16, 11:00 AM

South Plainfield

PSE&G Seminar at Impact Church on New Market ...

Sat, December 16, 5:00 PM

Wesley United Methodist Church , South Plainfield

Christmas Gala

Giving Back

Carousel_image_2a85da138f9cc2d282f0_back__2_

Sun, December 17, 1:00 PM

South Plainfield

Open House 712 Maple Avenue South Plainfield, NJ

Real Estate

Columns

A Winter Saturday in South Plainfield

Dear Residents:

There is no better job than being Mayor of my hometown of South Plainfield. Last Saturday, was one of those days. I sit back and say how thankful I am, to you the residents and the town I call home.

The morning started off with breakfast with the Mayor at the South Plainfield Senior Center. I am glad I had my coffee because everyone was wide awake. There ...

Garth Brooks Concert

The Garth Brooks Concert- Prudential Center, December 3, 2017

When the last child cries for a crust of bread

When the last man dies for just words that he said,

When there's shelter over the poorest head,

We shall be free.

My husband, Tom, and I stood on the platform at the Menlo Park train station, wearing our black cowboy hats and jeans, waiting for the train to the ...

Bookmarks

Come join us at the library for Monday Night Movies!  On December 18 at 6:30 PM, we will be showing a new romantic comedy starring Reese Witherspoon, Michael Sheen, Candice Bergen, and Nat Wolff.  Witherspoon plays a single mother who allows three young men to move into her house; let the antics ensue.   If you cannot make it to our Monday night showing, it will also be shown ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Westfield's Jackie Lieberman

This week's feature will focus on TAPintoWestfield franchisee, Jackie Lieberman. Find out what makes TAPintoWestfield.net different than the competition, what she did before coming onto TAPinto.net and how an inexperienced sales person became one of TAPinto's most successful franchisee's. 

 

When did you join TAPinto.net?:

I started as a freelance reporter in 2011 ...

The Thought that Counts

The other day I was talking to our cat . . .  

Hmmm.  It says here that dogs are smarter than cats.

What are you reading, Mad Magazine?

No seriously, this article in the Times claims that a scientific study conducted at Vanderbilt University recently discovered that dogs have twice as many neurons as cats in the analytic part of their brains.

Yeah, but they only use a ...

Johnny Four Fingers Week #14 NFL Picks

CALABASH, NC – So much for my good Thanksgiving. I was horrible last week. I went 1-4. My only win was Miami and no one watched that game anyway. A guy Andy emailed me to say my picks were late. That has been the least of my problems. I’m not sure what the technical difficulties may be, but the bigger issue is my picks have stunk.

I’m in Jersey now for the holidays, so my ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Rings in the Holidays!

The Suburban Woman's Club of South Plainfield began celebrating the holiday season on December 3rd with its annual Theater Party at the Historical Edison Valley Playhouse.  At a sold-out performance, the audience was treated to “You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown,” a delightful and heartwarming musical.

Continuing with the holiday spirit, the Club donated to ...

Press Releases

Middlesex County Experts and Residents Hold Dialogue on Opioid Crisis at Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall

December 13, 2017

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ  — Hundreds of Middlesex County residents learned from experts but also shared their concerns on the opioid epidemic ravaging the state at Tuesday’s Knock Out Opioid Abuse Town Hall hosted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) at the Jo Ann Magistro Performing Arts Center at Hammarskjold Middle School.

The event was the ...