"Once upon a time there was and there wasn't a woman who went to the woods."
In this horror story set in colonial New England, a law-abiding Puritan woman goes missing. Or perhaps she has fled or abandoned her family. Or perhaps she's been kidnapped, and set loose to wander in the dense woods of the north. Alone and possibly lost, she meets another woman in the forest. Then everything changes.
On a journey that will take her through dark woods full of almost-human wolves, through a deep well wet with the screams of men, and on a living ship made of human bones, our heroine may find that the evil she flees has been inside her all along.
The eerie, disturbing story of one of our perennial fascinations-witchcraft in colonial America-In the House in the Dark of the Woods is a novel of psychological horror and suspense told in Laird Hunt's characteristically lyrical prose style. It is the story of a bewitching, a betrayal, a master huntress and her quarry. It is a story of anger, of evil, of hatred and of redemption. It is the story of a haunting, a story that makes up the bedrock of American mythology, but told in a vivid way you will never forget.
|Publisher:||Hachette Book Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 5.70(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Laird Hunt is the author of several novels. His novel Neverhome was a New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice selection, an IndieNext selection, winner of the Grand Prix de Litterature Americaine and The Bridge prize, and a finalist for the Prix Femina Etranger. He is on the faculty in the creative writing PhD program at the University of Denver.
Vanessa Johansson, Earphones Award-winning narrator, is a film and theater actress and voice-over artist who graduated from Carnegie Mellon and later trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York.
What People are Saying About This
“I adored this book and found it to be entirely spellbinding and scary and strange. Laird Hunt renews our collective fear of the archetypal woods, reimagining the dark realm of ancient nightmares as a place of irresistible wonders and horrors. Spun like a fairy tale, the novel carries us along in a current of intoxicating dread, bearing witness to one woman’s dream-like journey of the soul. Like her, we are lost, possibly forever, to its spell.”
"Every Halloween I read Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown," haunted most by what we don't know about the young wife. In Laird Hunt's newest, we're finally made privy to the temptations such a woman encounters when repeatedly intercepted by a cast of powerful, dangerous women deep in the woods. The language and mystery will bind your thoughts: an addling hex of a book."
“In the House in the Dark of the Woods is a thrilling, magical tale that straddles two worlds: the harsh, at times grim, reality of Colonial New England, and the imaginative, shadow world from which the oldest fairy tales are woven. It’s into this pagan and dream-like forest that the heroine must travel, finding her way home by confronting her deepest fears and most primal desires.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall: 4 Narration: 3 Story: 4 So – I grabbed this (despite the horror tags) mostly because of the ties to Colonial New England and the lore that is central to much of American history and belief systems found there. Much more than a story about witches and witchcraft, and far less horror and more psychological thriller, the story uses a wonderful sense of atmosphere, particularly from deep forest ventures, to include threats in the shadows with that undefined sense of unfamiliarity and half-seen ‘things’ that prey on the mind as tales and experience meet. What Hunt has done so well here is bring his style of this reimagined fairy tale (think Grimm not Disney) and the symbolism that is often found there – as parents for generations have used old folk and fairy tales to ‘contain’ their children with threats of witches, ghosts, monsters and ghouls – all to be found on the way to danger. Here, those same elements are brought into play as the story progresses, from one woman who seeks to find the missing and the lost, and is brought to face both the present and the possible, at first glance the evils are clear and present, and then descending into ambiguous shades of grey, forcing readers to pay attention and revisit each moment in time with a sense of ‘why”, unpacking symbolism and intentions along the way – all influenced with he sense that something just isn’t ‘right’ and that unease will ebb and flow, although never quite leaving throughout the story. Vanessa Johansson narrated this tale, mostly told in the perspective of Goody, who isn’t quite the first-glance doting and engaged woman one expects, and is the voice who is solidly leading us through the tale. Each introduction of character is clear and precise, the words are left to create their own ‘menace’ as the story progresses, and the moments that require an adjustment in tone or emotion are clear without over performing or overly influencing or foreshadowing a moment. It took me a few breaks to get through the five plus hours of story, with plenty of images and goosebumps to go around. If you like different and a more thoughtful thrill – grab this one. I received an AudioBook copy of the title from Hachette Audio for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Wow, this book was a trip! The entire time I was reading it, I felt like I was in a dream. The tension is tight as a drum, and kept me on the edge of my seat, not wanting to put it down. This is a creepy, atmospheric fairy tale set in Colonial America (there are hints in the text, but no places are named), wherein our unnamed narrator goes for a walk in the woods to pick berries for her husband and son, and takes a nap in the shade after growing tired. When she wakes up, night has fallen, and she gets lost in the woods. Then the big, spooky, psychological suspense-filled mayhem begins. I'm not going to try to describe what happens- it's meant to be confusing, I think, and it's much better to let it wash over you without knowing what's coming. The writing is lush and beautiful, and drew me in from the start. I'll definitely look for more books from this author! This is a perfect fall/winter read- snuggle up under a cozy blanket with a hot cup of something nearby, and prepare to get lost in more ways than one! Seriously, it's kind of hard to follow the story, but that's one of the things I liked about the story- it really felt otherworldly, like wandering through a dream where the oddest things seem normal, and things can change in a moment. A great quick read for when you want to be wrapped up in prose.
Strange read....confusing narrative....difficult to find a focal point or become interested in a character or direction of plot. Almost called it quits a couple times. Gave it my all though rereading pages and chapters bc of enticing book summary depicting witchcraft in colonial New England, but a no go and a long 224 pages for me. Honestly, no clue I was even in colonial America.