“The forest sticks to me.”
Happy day after Christmas, everyone! If you celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful day despite this very strange year.
Now, I’m always down for a story with a spooky forest.
Winterwood follows Nora, a seventeen-year-old girl who comes from a long line of Walkers: women with witch-like powers who live next to the creepy Wicker Woods. Nora finds a lost boy named Oliver alive in the woods despite a massive snowstorm, and works to unravel the mystery of how he survived.
Things I liked:
I love Ernshaw’s writing. It’s lyrical and enchanting, reminding me of a dark fairy tale. It perfectly fits the lovely, cold, and haunted aesthetic of this book.
I loved the setting. Nora’s house sounds homey and witchy, and I enjoyed the descriptions of it, alongside the forest, from Nora’s perspective.
Things I didn’t like as much:
Besides Nora, I never felt like I got far enough below surface level with the other characters, and sometimes I couldn’t pin down motivations. Usually, I love dual perspectives, but I felt like Oliver’s perspective didn’t reveal enough about him for me, and his amnesia didn’t help.
I loved the magic, but I wanted it to be talked about/explained even more. I never really understood how it worked, even with the many pages dedicated to the Walker ancestors.
While I loved Ernshaw’s writing, it was too repetitive sometimes. Even though it fits the nature of this story (by the end), and I usually love repetition, I think it was utilized just a little too much.
Lastly, I guessed one of the main plot reveals very, very early on, and it’s already a slow-moving story. On top of that, the book’s conclusion felt a bit like a cop-out.
Despite that, I really enjoyed reading this book, and I sped through it. I love Earnshaw’s writing, and I look forward to reading her future books, where hopefully the plot and characters will be a little more refined.