January 15, 2018

Book Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a dark, dark wood

Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

There was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room....

Some things can’t stay secret for ever.

I've resisted the pull of this book for awhile now but then in a fit of curiosity, I decided to read the first few pages ... which turned into a one-day reading fest. The comparison to Girl on a Train has some merit. Both novels have narrators not wholly reliable. Something terrible happens during a weekend reunion of old friends. But our protagonist wakes up the next morning in the hospital, unable to remember what exactly happened, just with a terrible feeling that she was somehow responsible for it.  I suppose it's kind of a cheat to use your narrator's amnesia to ramp up the suspense - just trying to find out what happened is prolonged, never mind whodunit. Another narrative device that Ware uses is to withhold information from the reader. For most of the novel, we know that SOMETHING TERRIBLE happened over ten years ago to our heroine but for some reason it is never elaborated upon until the last quarter of the book.  It just hangs over the uneasy weekend get together, foreshadowing TRAGEDY.

If I am a bit liberal with the snark, it's not because I enjoyed In a Dark, Dark Wood.  On the contrary, it was a literal page-turner for me. However, I am not blind to its faults. Let's just say it falls under the category of - would all of this hullabaloo even be possible if two people decided to communicate at a critical juncture?

The best thing I can say about In a Dark, Dark Wood is it pulled me out of a month-long reading slump (a truly awful thing for a self-proclaimed bookworm). 

1 comment:

  1. A month long reading slump is awful! I read this one, and I liked it, too. Happy you're out of your reading slump!