Wednesday, March 9, 2016

In a Dark Dark Wood - Review

In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
Rating: Very Good
Source: Library (Audio)

Description:  Nora hasn't seen Clare for ten years.  Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

  In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house.

Until out of the blue, an invitation to Clare's bachelorette party 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 something things can't stay secret forever.  (From Goodreads)

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: The premise had caught my attention and then I read some really great reviews including this one from Rebel Mommy Book Blog that made it impossible to resist.

My Impression:  Wow!  Talk about getting pulled into a story.  From the beginning when we meet Nora as she's running through the woods in terror I wanted to know what had happened and what was going to happen.  The story is told in a series of extended flashbacks.  We really meet Nora in the hospital as she's trying to figure out what exactly landed her there.  From the start I liked Nora.  She's intelligent and reserved to the point of being kind of a hermit.  She's remade herself from the girl she was in school to the point of going by a different name and I really respected and understood her desire to do that.  There were times I wanted to shake her a little but everything she did I understood which made the times when she was dragging her feet or overthinking easier to deal with.  We see the rest of the characters through her eyes and especially with Tom, Mel, Flo they can seem a little one dimensional.  This too feels intentional as Nora herself doesn't know much about them and is trying to figure out who they are and how they fit in.  Nina, Nora's friend from childhood, is more developed and I really liked her.  You never know what is going to come out of her mouth which does put Nora and the others on edge a time or two but I liked how straight forward she was.
The setting could not have been creepier.  I could really picture this big glass house, almost devoid of all comfort, out in the middle of no where and cut off from the world.  I could really just see it.  The atmosphere in the house just feels heavy.  Even when everything is going fine if slightly awkward something is most definitely off.  There are bits of foreshadowing that are emphasized by Nora's thoughts in the hospital that are really just wonderfully creepy.
The mystery itself was gripping.  The pace was fantastic and I never felt like it dragged or got caught up in unnecessary details.  I listened to this on audio and at the end found myself standing perfectly still in my kitchen staring into space and focusing on what was happening.  I'm pretty sure I was holding my breath!  I did guess a lot of the hows, whys, and whos, but it in no way dampened my enjoyment in the book.  By the last few chapters I just couldn't stop listening.  I HAD to know how it was all going to work out!
I listened to the audio for this book and I can't say enough good things about it.  Imogen Church is a new to me narrator but I will be searching out any other books she narrates.  Her range with the different voices was amazing and never felt forced or fake.  If you're an audio fan this is one of the best I've listened too.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Definitely!  I'm looking forward to finding other books by Ware.

Would I Recommend this Book?: Definitely!  And if you are a fan of audio I definitely recommend going that route.


  1. Yes. To all of that. I loved this one so much. The setting was super creepy without being obvious about it. I agree the narration was fantastic and will totally listen to more books by her. Great review!

  2. I'm not familiar with that author or narrator, but will check it out! Thanks.

  3. I read this one last fall and it was definitely a page turner. I think I'd like to listen to it too and will check that out. That glass house - couldn't you just see it? Closed in by the forest in the daylight and like a lighted stage at night. Creepy.

  4. So the blurb. When it says " In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house. . . And in the dark dark house there was a dark dark room." That is soooo from a children's book! The book isn't quite so creepy though. Maybe it's an old nursery rhyme or something. But those words sound so much more creepy in this book.

    So glad you enjoyed this one.

  5. Wow sounds really crazy and really good. I am going to keep my eye out for the narrator you mention and see if I can find the book on Audible.

  6. I haven't heard of this one before, but it sounds good.

  7. I will definitely be checking this one out. I think this next fall I want to do a bunch of creepy mood reads. :)

  8. I'm listening to this book now, about two-thirds through. Loving it!! I agree - Imogen Church is a fantastic narrator.

  9. It seems to be that to listen to the audio version of this book is the way to go for a fun experience.

    I always say I don't like audio because I'm a visual thinker and learner, but starting next week I'll be taking turns with my husband driving my youngest to school about 1/2 hour away 4 days a week. I really want to pick up an audio book to amuse myself on the way home. On the first leg, my daughter will be listening to her radio but at least I have the return trip.

    I'll check out my library next week and see what audio books they have that seem good to me. Thanks for sharing a review that has made me eager to give listening to books a try again :)

  10. Great review! I have wanted to read this book ever since I saw Grace's review and now I want to read it even more. I love creepy books and this one just sounds fantastic. I am going to check my library for the audio right way.

  11. You make this sound so good! I am glad you enjoyed the audio version. I am going to add it to my Audible wish list.

  12. Oh, now you're really sold me on this one!

  13. This sounds so creepy, even the idea of a woman running through the woods in terror freaks me out. But I want to read it so badly now as it also sounds great!

  14. Oh goody, another creepy book! I have goosebumps!