Maisy and Duncan have always had each other. Until the day they didn't
One night in 1960, fifteen-year-old twins Maisy and Duncan Mitcham awake to find their father pulling their screaming mother from the house. She is to be committed to an insane asylum. It is, so their father insists, for her own good.
It's not long before they, too, are removed from their London home and sent to Nightingales - a large house deep in the New Forest countryside - to be watched over by their cold-hearted grandmother, Mrs Mitcham. Though they feel abandoned and unloved, at least here they have something they never had before - freedom.
The twins are left to their own devices, to explore, find new friends and first romances. That is until the day that Duncan doesn't come back for dinner. Nor does he return the next day. Or the one after that.
When the bodies of other young boys are discovered in the surrounding area the police appear to give up hope of finding Duncan alive. With Mrs Mitcham showing little interest in her grandson's disappearance, it is up to Maisy to discover the truth. And she knows just where to start. The woman who lives alone in the wood about whom so many rumours abound. A woman named Grace Deville.
The Woman in the Wood is a powerful, passionate and sinister tale of a young woman's courage, friendship and determination from one of the world's favourite storytellers.
I've got to admit, I've never been someone who would class historical fiction as one of my favourite genres, but I've been trying hard to just pick different things from my Kindle and get stuck in, which is what I did with The Woman in the Wood.
From the outset, we hear about Maisy and Duncan, who are sent to live with their grandmother when their mother becomes ill and is admitted to an asylum. So, the twins spend their time exploring the local countryside and creating their own fun. So far, so Enid Blyton, until things take turn for the more mysterious.
Duncan goes missing one day and apart from Maisy, his family barely seem worried. She dedicates herself to finding out what's happened to her brother, not believing that he could have simply run away. There must be an explanation and when other boys from the area begin to go missing, too, Maisy wonders what the connection may be.
Eventually, things begin to fall into place and suddenly Maisy has a theory. But what does the woman who lives in the woods really have to do with it all..? She's determined to get to the bottom of this and find her brother.
From little acorns and all that... This book started off slowly and took a little while for the momentum to build, but don't let that put you off. Once it's going, you'll be intrigued and just as determined as Maisy is to find out what happened to Duncan.