What happens when you return to the real world after being in a fantastical one like Narnia? This YA debut by Laura E. Weymouth is perfect for fans of Melissa Albert’s The Hazel Wood and Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.
Six years ago, sisters Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell were swept away to a strange and beautiful kingdom called the Woodlands, where they lived for years. But ever since they returned to their lives in post-WWII England, they have struggled to adjust.
Ev desperately wants to return to the Woodlands, and Philippa just wants to move on. When Ev goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.
Walking the line between where fantasy and reality meet, this lyrical and magical novel is, above all else, an exploration of loss and healing, and what it means to find where you belong.
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Laura E. Weymouth lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiled cat, and an indeterminate number of chickens. The Light Between Worlds is her debut book, and she can be found online at www.lauraeweymouth.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this story! I couldn’t put it down. I expected this story to have more fantasy elements, since it is marketed as being similar to the Chronicles of Narnia. There are some flashbacks to their time in the Woodlands, especially in the first half, but the story mostly takes place during the years 1948-1950. The characters felt very real. They struggle with a lot of the things that happen to them. I appreciated the honesty of the characters, and the way they dealt with their problems. This book was very good! I can’t wait to see what Laura writes next! I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.
A lovely and unexpected read. A YA fantasy with a historical flavor. Excellent.
An after-the-adventure story inspired by Narnia-like stories of children finding other worlds, The Light Between Worlds shows the way two sisters deal in the real world when they come back. Evelyn and Philippa and their older brother Jamie had all been swept away to Woodlands during a bomb strike (in WWII) by Evelyn’s wish and they grow up for 5 years over there, aiding the Woodlands (which is the Narnia analog, having all manners of magical creatures) in preventing war with the human kingdom. Philippa is miserable over there, having to worry about keeping Evelyn safe while being a diplomatic contact with the arrogant prince of the enemies. In the end, when they come back, she wishes for Evelyn to come back with her, which is what causes a rift between them. Having come back at the same age they went, they have to grow up again, now in a war-torn world. Evelyn, however, has problems fitting in – she was a pre-teen during that time, and those years were formative for her, and being over there gave her a sense of belonging, which is why she is utterly miserable back in our world. She fights her depression but often isn’t able to; Phillipa takes care of her when she goes too far, but you can see it is putting a strain on her, being a teenager again, having to be simultaneously protecting her sister from herself but also protecting their secret from others. Essentially, she is alone, as Jamie is off in another school, and he is mostly trying to live his life, hoping to forget and move on, which is what she wants too. Ultimately, she also moves away, and Evelyn later on disappears, causing her to search back and try to find her. The story plays in current time as well as intermittent flashback passages from their time in Woodlands. The fantasy part feels close enough to Narnia, but it does develop the characters and their thoughts about taking up different roles in this world that is not their own. In current time, Evelyn is trying to move on, finding a boyfriend, being a regular girl, but she can’t let go of Woodlands. Even hoping to one day move on feels like a betrayal to that world to her. The writing brings out her longing and grief so well, it feels very visceral. When the POV switches over to Philippa in the second half, you can understand how she was stressed, how she found a way to move on, a new life, how she overcomes her own guilt and grief from what she did for her sister. Essentially, she feels responsible for causing her sister’s grief, because she wanted to keep their family intact. It is an impossible situation, and only when she lets go of that instinct, she is able to find her own peace. In short, a moving story of longing, grief, and the bonds of family. Heck, this was so emotional I cried once again while writing this review, weeks after I originally read the book.
A wonderful historical fiction fantasy! Thanks to Edelweiss and HarperTeen for the opportunity to read and review The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth! Evie is the youngest of the three children in her family. Her brother James and sister are both college age so she’s traveling to school on her own this year, which is 1949. She reminisces about the times the three of them were together. Five years ago, they huddled in their shelter during the war bombings in London. Evie wished they could be anywhere but there and because of this wish, they were drawn into Woodlands. The Woodlands become their home for most of their teenage years and for Evie, it turned into the home where she felt like she truly belonged. Once the three siblings return to their London home, they each struggle to readjust. In London time, they were gone for only a moment even though years passed in the Woodlands. Evie goes through dark spells of depression, especially during the winter and one day no one can find her. Everyone fears the worst and they try to move on but Evie’s sister is consumed by guilt and blames herself for Evie’s unhappiness. This beautiful story has the perfect book cover portraying its multidimensional world. A wonderful fantasy, 4 stars! * I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
When I picked this book up on a whim, I definitely never expected to find one of my top favorite reads of 2018 and possibly of all time. The Light Between Worlds is one of those books that I felt in my bones, in every facet of my heart as I turned each page. It's a story of belonging, sisterhood, love, and most of all, home. Light Between Worlds is really a genre-defying novel, which is one of the reasons I loved it so much! While it has elements of fantasy and magical realism, its foundation sits clearly in historical fiction with a focus on character development like a contemporary. The book is broken into two halves, the first from the perspective of Evelyn, the younger sister whose every thought is consumed by her desire to return to the magical world of the Woodlands. The second half is told from Phillipa's perspective, the older sister who is forced to deal with the aftermath when Evelyn goes mysteriously missing. Both perspectives were equally as strong and heart-wrenching with distinct personalities. Overall, the narrative is so in-tune with the raw, human emotions of each character, I've never read something that felt so deeply personal even though I couldn't relate to their issues from experience. The way Weymouth writes about life is utterly realistic and unabashedly true. The world of the Woodlands is fairly simplistic, we see it mostly through flashbacks (which are intricately and seamlessly woven into the present story). The world-building is what I would consider to be extremely minimal and mostly intuitive, it's very similar to Narnia. Because at the end of the day, this story is not about the fantasy world the characters are caught between, it's about their journey to discover where they truly belong and how to mentally cope in a harsh reality. Which brings me to another very important part of my review—content warnings. This book heavily discusses depression and suicide, and there are a few scenes displaying self-harm and disordered eating. If you think this book may not be safe for you to read, I encourage you to visit the author's website, she has a page that explains more about Light's sensitive content. Post-WWII London serves as the perfect backdrop for this melancholy and contemplative story. The oppressive tension and uncertainty in the atmosphere are reflected in Evelyn and Phillipa's struggles, as well as in minor characters from both our world and the Woodlands. The historical aspects made this feel right at home with classic stories like Narnia, Peter Pan, and even Wuthering Heights or other romantic British literature. Artwork and poetry are also featured very heavily. And of course, the romance. AHHHHHH the freaking romance!! Evelyn and Phillipa both have prospective love interests, Tom and Jack. The romance is completely understated and just a whisper compared to the main focal points of the book, but damn did those two boys manage to capture my heart entirely. Finally, the writing is phenomenal. Weymouth easily deserves to be on the NYT list just for her pure talent, I'm so shocked that this is the first we've ever gotten to read from her! I used more than an entire stack of tabs in my book to mark the quotes that I loved. If you buy one fall release this entire year, let it be this book. I promise you will end up just as heartbroken and blown away as I am!