In a Dark, Dark Wood

I have been seeing this book everywhere!   It looked perfect for me – super creepy, which is what I love.  So when I found it on Overdrive a few months ago, I put a hold on it as fast as dark, dark wood.jpgmy grubby finger could click on it.  And when I got the email that told me that it was my turn to check it out, I dropped everything I was doing to download it to my kindle.
The general plot was straight out of a movie.  Nora is invited to Clare’s bachelorette party, but is surprised because they haven’t spoken in 10 years nor was she even invited to the wedding.  It’s a small group of people, six in total.  Most of them don’t know each other and are all quite different.  The beautiful house they are staying in belongs to the maid of honor’s aunt.  It is in the middle of the woods and is essentially made of glass.  As the guests get to know each other, they nervously laugh about how they feel as though they’re on a stage at night; when the house is lit from the inside, anyone outside would be able to watch their every move without their even knowing.
Interspersed with scenes from the bachelorette party (or hen party, as they’re calling it), are flash forwards of Nora in a hospital with the people around her whispering about murder.  She is desperately trying to remember what happened during the party and who was murdered.  Was she the murderer?
Sounds like a super creepy set up, right?
It disappointed me.  It was like reading a movie, does that make sense?  It felt as though it was written to be placed in a director’s hands and all she’d have to do is say, “ACTION!” and the movie would direct itself.  It seemed very commercial  and written with the intention of being a best seller.  And on principle, I’ve never liked the kid in class that clearly just wanted to be popular.   There have been a lot of these fast paced dramas released in the last couple of years which I also haven’t been wild about, so this has been an (annoying) pattern for me.
I will say that it was very clear that the author was trying to send a message.  She seemed to be reminding us that we never truly know anyone and that we are all just acting to get through life, and I agree with both of those sentiments.  I wonder if it could have been done in a less predictable way?
If you’re looking for a book to tear through – this is it.  While it’s still over 300 pages, I read it in less than 24 hours, which I’m never able to do anymore.  And a LOT of really great readers have loved it, so if it sounds like it’s something that you usually enjoy, go for it.  It won’t be a huge time commitment, so why not?  But if you’re looking for something a bit more quiet and thought provoking, which what I’m usually looking for in the fall/winter months, it will most likely be okay if you wait a little while.
finished reading

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