Tuesday, 11 September 2018

The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange

- Source: my bookshelf -
BLURB
1919. Henry has moved to the countryside with her parents and her baby sister, Piglet - all still scarred by the death of her brother. Alone in her head, she begins to explore her surroundings, encouraged by her only friends - characters from her favourite books. Nobody much notices when she wanders into the woods at the bottom of the garden and meets Moth, a striking witch-like woman. Together they form a bond that could help Henry save her family.

THOUGHTS
This is a truly beautiful book - both inside & out... The kind of book you read at a savouring pace, not wanting it to end, and it ultimately staying with you for quite some time after.
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The Secret of Nightingale Wood explores many themes, and for a middle grade book, many of which are darker in nature - the fallout of war, bereavement, mental health, people abusing their power, loneliness and more. Despite these darker themes, there is also a lightness to the writing, with everything coming together wonderfully in the end. The story feels quite gothic at times, and is one that both breaks and warms your heart.
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Main protagonist Henrietta (more commonly known as Henry) is the kind of lead I love seeing in middle grade books - a brave female who is tenacious and determined yet vulnerable, holding strong not only for herself but her loved ones also. Henry is one of those characters that I know will stick with me; looking back upon my reading experience with nothing but fondness.
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Something I really enjoyed and appreciated within The Secret of Nightingale Wood is how bookish the story is - with classic children's literature weaved into the tale with ease, and so perfectly well placed too.
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The Secret of Nightingale Wood is a debut novel, and this alone blows my mind. Not only is the plot so well crafted, dealing with dark issues so delicately, but Lucy Strange's writing style is just beautiful and evocative - totally capturing a reader and holding you long after the final page.
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If you're looking for an emotive middle grade read, then The Secret of Nightingale Wood is for you.
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8 comments

  1. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful book! I love books that talk about books, so the idea that classic children's literature is reference in the story sounds fun. I don't usually read a lot of MG novels, but maybe I'll try this one out. Thanks for a great review :)

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    1. If you do get round to reading this one - I hope you enjoy!

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  2. I bought this at my local bookstore rihutbwhej it came out but then never read it! This is making me want to pick it up sooner rather than later — soooo many books on my fall TBR :)

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    1. I purchased this one pretty soon after release also, and it took me until this summer to read it!! Pick it up - like now. Haha! I think you'll love it.

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  3. Ooo this looks wonderful! I will have to see if it is available here!!

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    1. I hope you can get your hands on a copy - one of my favourites of the year!

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  4. I love books that stick with you. Sounds like it handles heavy topics well. I don't usually read MG but may have to give this a go. Great review!

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    1. I would definitely recommend this book to those who don't read MG but perhaps want to try. I hope you do pick it up!!

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