The Woman in the Woods
PublisherHQ
Date Published14 October 2021
 
 
ISBN-100008356483
ISBN-13978-0008356484
Formatpaperback
Pages368
Price£ 8.99

The Woman in the Woods

by Lisa Hall

A mother with a new baby and toddler moves with her husband into an old house in the famously haunted Kent village of Pluckley. Is it just tiredness and baby blues that disturb her, or are there really the chilling remnants of a long-dead witch Allie finds out about at work in their home?


Review

Tiredness can break a person – exhaustion draining the sanity away like water down a stream. Allie is on maternity leave from the florist where she works. Her husband, Rav, has left the baby, the toddler and everything that needs doing in the ancient house they have just moved into on the Kent village of Pluckley up to her. When she starts seeing and hearing things and sensing a presence, Rav puts it down to Allie’s new-mum brain but when she hangs a mirror she found in the loft and starts to see movement in it, and then fleeting figures in the woods behind the house, he starts to worry.

The problem is she is finding it hard to talk to him about what she is sensing, as he clearly doesn’t believe her. She does not know who she can turn to in their new village. Other mothers who attempt to be friendly make her more alienated, and then she discovers that Rav has been hiding the fact that their house is one of the most haunted in the village. To top it all, Allie finds messages from a friend of hers on his phone, and the fragile strands of trust that previously linked them seem to drop away.

This is a story in which the ghostly presence is ever-present and the hair stands up on Allie’s neck as the unexplained noises, dreams and urges continue unabated. It proceeds at a gallop, whisking the reader along with it.

There is sympathetic understanding in the writing with Allie’s exhaustion and her turning against those who try to be her friends. It is a very ghostly story, and the denouement is well told. There are a couple of big twists that I didn’t see coming, which was satisfying, and the story builds momentum with the turn of each page. I’m sure that Lisa Hall’s fans will finish this one with a sigh of satisfaction.

Reviewed 22 July 2022 by Kerry Hood

Kerry Hood has worked in publishing for many years and lived in London for just as many, but suspects her heart is in the country.