Beth's Book Review

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

25ab5412522315868e8b_In_a_Dark__Dark_Wood.jpg
25ab5412522315868e8b_In_a_Dark__Dark_Wood.jpg

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

Obituaries

It is with sadness we announce the sudden passing of Mr. Michael J. Cleary, Sr. Please check ...
Read more

Letters to the Editor

Carly Kensey Graduates from ECU

July 13, 2018

GREENVILLE, NC -- Carly Kensey of South Plainfield graduated with a BA-Psychology from East Carolina University during spring commencement exercises May 4 in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium.

The fireworks capped off a new format for ECU's 109th spring commencement ceremony, which was held in the evening for the first time.

The keynote speaker for commencement was Linda McMahon, administrator of ...

Community Happenings

Adult “crafternoon” at the South Plainfield Public Library

July 15, 2018

Crafting isn't just for kids anymore!  Come to the South Plainfield Library on Saturday July 28 at 2pm for a fun filled “crafternon” for adults with crafter Patricia Dahl.  Crafters will be decorating a wine bottle. We will supply all the materials, just come and enjoy! If you have a glue gun at home, if you could bring it to the craft program.  Registration is ...

Suburban Woman’s Club Welcomes You

July 15, 2018

The Suburban Woman’s Club of South Plainfield is welcoming new members. Enjoy creative fund raisers, interesting activities while participating on standing committees, informative monthly programs, and the camaraderie of women whose efforts enhance the community. The club meets at 1:00 PM on the first Thursday of each month, September through June, at the American ...

Columns

Lucia, Lucia by Adriani Trigiani

Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2003)

 

If a summer romance novel is what you are craving to read as you sit by the pool or beach, Adriana Trigiani's Lucia, Lucia is a perfect choice. Set in 1950 New York City, the novel is about a young woman, Lucia Sartori, who is determined to have a career and be able to support herself, an unusual choice for a girl who was ...

Bookmarks

Time for news from your friendly neighborhood AIR-CONDITIONED South Plainfield Library:

            First, a reminder that we’ll be closed on Sundays for the rest of the summer.  Our other operating hours remain the same.

            Turning to our very active schedule of ...

Press Releases

Creating a Dynamite Job Portfolio

July 16, 2018

The job market continues to change, as does the way we look for work. This Workshop examines the value of presenting yourself as a complete package by using a resume as an introduction to an employer and backing it up with a portfolio presented at the interview.

How You Will Benefit:

Learn how to brand yourself and define yourself using descriptive language.
Explore the essential ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...