Weekend Reads: In a Dark, Dark Wood

I’ve been in a dark mood recently. It is part depression, part longing for fall, and part exploring the dark side of my personality. Everyone has a darkness to them, we are incomplete without it and we are fooling ourselves if we don’t acknowledge it’s existence. Mostly though, I am ready for Fall and Halloween. I am in need of some dark and cathartic reading.

I picked up In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware because the cover looked lured me to it. What can I say, I love dark woods; and I wanted something with a bit of thrill and mystery. Maybe a little horror. Then I was sold on the description:

(From Goodreads):

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 gave it three stars.

I really wanted to love this book, but it worked well for what I needed. It was a quick weekend read when I really needed a break from the day to day life of mothering and general toddler-chasing. This post contains spoilers, so if you want to read this book (I am recommending it, it’s easy, just don’t be expected to be blown away) stop now and come back later.


Aaaaannnnd. We’re back.


Nora was a bit annoying, if I am honest. She goes to her High School friend’s/bully’s bachelorette weekend, after not speaking to her for 10 years. That was the first WTF. But at least the author acknowledges he idiocy of that as well. Then we learn that Nora and Claire have a bad secret together. Really bad, change the world it’s so bad and we can’t ever talk about it, but we will take about 10-20 % of the time talking about how bad the secret is.

Nora is also not over her high school boyfriend, the man that Claire is going to marry. **UUUUGGGGHHHH**

Nora needs to grow up.

Anyway. The normal things that happen when a bully becomes a jealous adult happen and Nora learns some sort of autonomy throughout the book.

Unfortunately someone has to die. Isn’t that always the case?

It was a page turner, I won’t lie there. And it was a quick read. I am just upset that people think that to appeal to women, the main character has to be hung up on somebody. The world in these kind of novels seems to be completely off center because the lead is not with her true love. The love from her high school. When she was 16 years old. It isn’t that the world is already a bad place, it’s bad because she is lonely and easily manipulated.

Nora is redeemed at the end for me. I just hope that this was a cautionary tale about what happens when someone isn’t able to let go and allows a shadow of the past rule their present. I hoped for more with this book.

It was okay. Not bad, not amazing, just okay.

What are you reading this weekend?


Published by BrandieKnits

I am a reader of many beautiful things, a fantastic knitter and a lover of wine. I love writing stories. I am a daydreamer and very neurotic, but my husband married me anyway. Bless that man. Really, I am just a girl who finally figured out what she wants in life.

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