It’s time for another Verbal Gold Blog book review! In a Dark, Dark wood by Ruth Ware was my choice. See what lead me to this book, my summary, and then my review below:
in a dark, dark wood
I took a gamble, I picked a book from my Target’s selection without ever hearing a review or word about it. I now realize it came from the mind of the same author who wrote The Woman in Cabin 10, which I read months ago. The similar writing style should have alerted me, but it didn’t. I only noticed when I went back to Target to pick out my next read. Ruth Ware is known for her “psychological thrillers,” but I am not sure I would be so bold in my review of her books. I mean, if we want to talk “psychological,” something like Gone Girl or The Girl with the Dragoon Tattoo pops into my mind first! Those books scared me so bad that I had to return them because I didn’t want them in my house. Ruth Ware is much more tame than that craziness.
In a Dark, Dark Wood, Leo a.k.a. Nora is a crime writer that keeps to herself. (The cliché of having an author name applies here obviously, we are going to stick with Nora for consistency.) Out of the blue she is invited to a bachelorette party for her old best friend. Although it has been years since they have communicated, her friendship with the bride to be was strong in the past and something kept her from not attending. Besides, one of her old roommates was attending and they made a pact to go together so they could be each other’s saviors in case they needed to bail.
The bachelorette party is held deep in the English country side in a glass house surrounded by a beautiful wooded area that is perfect for those who need to get away. Although, eerie because at night time, Nora felt she was being watched, she tried to make the best of the location and enjoy her time in an eclectic place.
Fast forward 48 hours later and Nora is in a hospital bed badly injured, but alive. Not able to remember the weekend’s events at first, she slowly begins to unfold the tragedy’s of what happened. Piece by piece, Nora has to put together her past and present and dig deep and revisit dark places she doesn’t want to have to remember. The places and events that made her so reclusive in the first place. This bachelorette trip turns out not only to be tragic, but opens up old wounds that will have to re-heal after answers from the weekend start unfolding.
In a Dark, Dark wood is not the suspense novel that makes you gawk at what happens in the end, but we definitely have a page turner here. I was interested in learning why the main character, a writer, was so reclusive compared to her life in her 20’s. What happened to her that made her change her personality and be so introverted? I kept wondering, what happened in her life and then why all of a sudden attend a bachelorette party to an old friend?!
I mean, I don’t even want to go to those things unless you are my absolute best friend and even then I am a little cautious. The mix of people you don’t know…ugh. Anyway, I could not comprehend what made Nora attend this bachelorette party in the middle of the English countryside with people she didn’t know. The book didn’t quite explain why she went, but the events that took place lead up to a good solid ending with all the puzzle pieces in tact.
I pride myself of being able to guess the ending of books, movies, stories. This one I decided to not even try and to go with the flow. I’m glad that I decided to do so because that made all the twists and turns even better. The best part about this book was that you can put yourself into a character. I remember doing so with Nora in one chapter and I kept telling my boyfriend “Oh my gah, I am actually scared right now!” Would I do what they did? No! But then again, you never know what you will do unless you are actually in a situation.
As I mentioned before, this is a good page turner. It was an easy read and there is some suspense packed in there. It isn’t so unrealistic that you lose your focus. I remember in Gone Girl, I was thinking…this chick is bat s**t crazy, and whoever wrote this is even worse! It doesn’t get to that point, and in my opinion that is where I like to be. Believable, but not so realistic you are scared to go about your life if you live alone. It’s all about balance for me.
I have talked to a fellow squad member who I recommended this book to because she was interested in reading The Woman in Cabin 10. (Shout out to Katherine!) Therefore, I will recommend it to our followers for sure. I enjoyed being involved in a book where I could crash out and get involved, but not have nightmares at night. This book walks that fine line and I can appreciate that. Almost like a PG13 movie instead of a rated R movie. I give this book 3/5 gold bars.
So grab a copy, and let me know what you think in the comments below!