Sunday 15 May 2016


An unforgettable thriller from an incredible new author. Father wants sixteen-year-old Castley and her five siblings to hide from the world. Living in a falling-down house deep in the woods, he wants to bury their secrets where noone will ever find them. 

Father says they are destined to be together forever. In heaven. Father says the sooner they get there, the better. 

But Castley wants to be normal. She wants to kiss boys and wear jean shorts. 


As soon as I read the blurb for this book, I knew I wanted to read it. 

Castella Cresswell is sixteen and part of a big family. Castley has five brothers and sisters--Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, Jerusalem, Hannan--and happens to be a triplet. The townspeople call them freaks because they live in a big rundown house in the middle of the woods, and because they dress like they belong in another century. Not to mention that their father is a super strict man obsessed with God and reaching heaven. He expects them to keep to themselves and doesn't accept outsiders. He also insists that God speaks to him. 

Since the authorities interfered and all the kids were forced to go to school, they've started to mingle with people their age. But the teenagers have also started to feel typical growing pains and personal desires--things their father doesn't approve of. Their mother is a damaged woman in a wheelchair. A devoted wife who believes everything her husband says, is always reading his scriptures, and isn't much of a mother. 

In spite of the way she's been raised and the isolated world she lives in, Castley is curious. She's adventurous, reckless and likes the freedom of escaping into the woods in the middle of the night with her brothers. The more she sees of the outside world, the more she starts to question everything her father preaches.

Will her rebellious ways lead to the truth about the Cresswells, or will she destroy the family? And what will happen when the awful truth is revealed? 

Yikes. Wow. Amazing.

The mysterious and very religious world the Cresswell kids are forced to live in is scary. The super creepy rules and regulations Father puts the kids through made for a very suspenseful read. The fear is vivid and leaps off the page as much as their need to not disappoint Father, and keep their faith strong. 

Castley is such a strong character. She's the heart and soul of the family. A shining star lost in all this darkness. She loves her siblings and is willing to do whatever it takes to save them, even if they turn against her. The relationship between Castley, Caspar and Mortimer is complicated, but it's a deeper bond than the other siblings seem to have. And the way Castley reacts and deals with her own attraction to a boy was outstanding.

In the Dark, In the Woods is a beautiful, creepy and heartbreaking book. It's lyrical, intoxicating and sad. This is the story of a bizarre family led astray by their secretive patriarch, and a girl who just wants the chance to be normal. And it will also haunt you long after the last page.

I LOVED this book SO MUCH. Not only is it going on my keeper shelf, but I'm sure I will read it again in the near future.


I have to thank Hachette Australia for sending me a copy of this awesome book.

In the Dark, In the Woods, June 2016, ISBN 9781784299910, Quercus Children's Books

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