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In Darkling Wood by Emma Carroll
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In Darkling Wood

by Emma Carroll

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This is a lovely story about families, the war, friends and fairies. ( )
  Laurochka | Aug 18, 2017 |
A magical tale that combines tragedy and hope. It provides lessons for us all about the importance of friendship, family and maintaining an optimism about the future. This third novel by Emma Carroll maintained the high standard that we have come to expect. ( )
  MargaretPemberton | Feb 19, 2017 |
4.5/5 stars
You can find all my reviews here
*Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*

In Darkling Wood is a truly magical story. Alice's life is difficult. Her little brother needs a new heart, her parents are seperated, and she's had to grow up faster than most kids.

She has to stay in a cottage near Darkling Wood with a grandmother she's never met while Theo gets the heart transplant. Her grandmother, Nell wants to cut down the woods surrounding her house before they cause a subsidence. Nobody likes that idea. Least of all Flo, a little girl in a red coat who is trying to get Alice to understand she can stop this.

It's a great story, but a bit tragic, to be honest. If you're someone who's looking for a light-hearted story, this isn't it. From the cover and the synopsis I was so excited. I thought, a cute kid's story about fairies, count me in! But it's so much more than that. It's well written, it handles the issues in a real way, and it shows how important hope can be.

I do recommend this story and I hope that everyone loves it the way I do. I had never read anything by Emma Carroll before today, but now I can't wait to get ahold of her other books. ( )
  MarandaNicole | Jul 15, 2015 |
This review is based on an advanced reader copy that I received from the publisher.

In Darkling Wood was very well written and uplifting story. Although I found character motivation to be shallow in the opening chapters (such as the Grandmother who was willing to destroy a whole wood for the sake of the few trees that threatened her home), as the novel progressed there were many twists that revealed the motivation from their actions, shedding new light onto the deeper reasoning behind their behaviour.

The novel was actually much deeper than I was expecting, exploring the importance of hope and belief. The faeries within the story were actually not important, it was more about what they represented. In both Alice's chapters and the letters from 1918, believing in faeries was symbolic of the need to put your faith in something inherently good in order to prevent yourself from drowning in all of the terrible things happening around you. Although the novel was bittersweet at times, this message carried through and left me with a warm feeling in my chest.

I also really liked the characterisation in the story. The cast really did develop over the course of the tale, learning from past experiences, forgiving each other and repairing bridges that were long broken. Both Alice and the girl who wrote the letters were very strong heroines, able to stand up for their own beliefs and maintain their optimism in the face of adversity. When young adult literature these days is filled with the need to have physically imposing females, it's sometimes nice to remember that real strength comes from within. Sticking to your principles and respecting the feelings of those around you is the mark of a truly strong heroine.

All in all, this is a great read. I can't wait until the novel is released in July as I'd recommend it to anyone. ( )
  ArkhamReviews | Apr 19, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 057131757X, Paperback)

'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?

(retrieved from Amazon Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:58:53 -0400)

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?… (more)

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