blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Woman in the Woods – Lisa Hall

She’s out there. Waiting for you.

A haunting read about witchcraft and superstition from Lisa Hall…

When Allie moves to a quaint old cottage with her husband, it’s their dream home. Nestled in the village of Pluckley, it seems a perfect haven in which to raise their two children. But Pluckley has a reputation. It’s known as England’s most haunted village. And not long after the birth of their new son, Allie begins to notice strange things…

What’s the flash of white she sees moving quickly through the woods to the back of their house? And what’s the strange scratching noise coming from the chimney?

As Allie discovers more about the history of their new home, she uncovers a story of witchcraft and superstition, which casts a long shadow into the present day. And not everything is as it seems. Her family might well be in danger, but it’s a danger none of them could have foreseen…

Bestseller Lisa Hall’s The Woman in the Woods is full of creeping unease and nerve-wracking tension, and will have readers on the edge of their seats…

My thoughts: this was really intriguing, it reminded me a tiny bit of Little Darlings, probably because both feature new mums dealing with something creepy and supernatural.

Allie’s new home seems full of ghosts, and she finds some creepy things stashed about it, things associated with witchcraft and curses. Just the thing a sleep deprived mother of two small children needs. And then there’s her husband, Rav, who’s gone for long periods of time at work and leaves her alone with the kids even though he knows she’s exhausted and struggling. Her friend Naomi seems to be ever present and I didn’t warm to her much.

Allie needs proper support, she’s leaning on her aloof mother and while her mother-in-law seems nice, she also doesn’t offer much comfort. Allie’s seeing conspiracy everywhere and is losing her grip somewhat. I think moving to a small village, doing two of the most stressful things you can do – move house and have a baby, at the same time, pushes her too far and then she hears stories of murdered children and witches living in her house in previous centuries. It’s enough to stress anyone out.

I know that postpartum depression and psychosis are terrible conditions, I’ve seen friends really struggle with their mental wellbeing after having a baby. I live with depression and anxiety so I recognise some of the symptoms in others. One of my close friends was very ill after her first baby, she struggled a lot. Thankfully she got better with the right help and her children are quite grown up now.

I think it’s important for writers to discuss things like PPD and help destigmatise them. There is nothing wrong with asking for help, no one will think less of you. The stories Allie hears about her new home would be easy to shrug off ordinarily but as she’s not well, and isolated, it feeds her fears and adds to her poor mental health. The ending is so ambiguous, is there something there or did Allie conjure it all up while she was sick?

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

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