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In a Dark Dark Wood, a book review 

Alyssa Tyler editor in chief 

As the semester ends, I have found myself reading more suspense and thriller novels. I think it is because of my short attention span (shoutout to my philosophy course) and my brain not being able to handle complex fantasy plot lines. So, this past week I read, In a Dark Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. 

The novel opens with Lenora, or Nora (Lee?). Nora is a crime writer who lives in a strict and constant routine. She runs, she writes, she checks her email, she drinks her coffee, and her routine goes into the next day.  

While checking her email Nora finds that she has been invited to her childhood best friend’s bridal shower. The author calls this a ‘Hen.’ I’m guessing that term is something those in England or London say, but I’m not sure. Either way, she has been invited by her childhood best friend to attend this bridal shower. The catch? Nora (formally Lee) has not talked to Clare in years, 10 years to be exact.  

Nora debates about attending the shower, but then decides, ‘why not?’ Deciding to ‘grow up’ and to ‘face the music,’ she attends the bridal shower. A shower hosted in the middle of an extremely deep and dark wood, in a glass house. There is no cell service, her one friend, Nina, is as uncomfortable as Nora.  

However uncomfortable, they trudge through. They deal with the obnoxious bridal shower games, Clares ‘new’ best friend, Flo (which everyone agrees that there is something wrong with her.) And a few other people who Nora has never met.  

The party begins but the next time the reader sees Nora, she is in a hospital bed 48 hours later. With little to no memory of what happened to cause her to end up in the hospital. All she knows is that someone is dead, and the question is no longer who, but how they were killed, and was it, Nora? 

The beginning of the novel is extremely slow. Although it is entertaining to see how Nora describes the others around her. Also, the foreshadowing of something bad happening was extremely well done. The author bounced back and forth from the past and the present.  

There were some things I wished were explained earlier. Such as, why Nora was invited and what truly happened between Nora and James. However, when the ending finally comes around, and the truth comes out, it is truly shocking.  

I could not put the book down when you started putting the pieces together and finding the sinister reasons for why and how everything that happened.  

The book is a little mature, I would recommend it for anyone over the age of 16. Overall, I rate it a 4/5. The story writing was well done, the characters were impossible to trust, and overall, it kept you on your toes for the last 3/4s of the novel.  

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