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Allie wakes one morning to find Mary missing from the nativity-taken, she believes, by her father in an attempt to force Allie to move on. Amidst her panic and grief, Allie discovers that the compass on her wrist-broken since the tornado-is now functioning, and the needle points not north, but to Mary.
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: 2014
|Dimensions: 8.38 X 5.50 (inches)|
A motherless girl hungry for hope . . . and the dream that could be leading her astray.
Almost two years have passed since twelve-year-old Allie Grandersons beloved mother, Mary, disappeared into the wild tornado winds. Her body has never been found.
Allie clings to memories of her mother, just as she clings to the broken compass she left behind, the makeshift Nativity scene in the front yard, and her best friend Zach. But even with Zach at her side, the compass on her wrist, and the Nativity right outside the window, Allie cannot help but feel lost in all the growing up that must get done.
When the Holy Mother disappears from the yard, Allies bewilderment is compounded by the sudden movement of her mothers compass.
Following the needle, Allie and Zach leave the city behind and push into the inky forest on the outskirts of Mattingly. For Allie, the journey is more than a ghost hunt: she is rejoining the mother she lostand finding herself with each step deeper into the heart of the dark wood.
Brimming with lyrical prose and unexpected discoveries, In the Heart of the Dark Wood illustrates the steep transition we all must undergothe moment we shed our childlike selves and step into the strange territory of adulthood.
T Cramer5 Stars Out Of 5An intense and amazing storyAugust 26, 2015T CramerQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Another amazing tale based in Mattingly, VA and the surrounding area of dark woods. I was going to just give this story 5 stars and move along, because it's one of those books I'm under no obligation to review, as I purchased the novel. That being said, I found myself unable to just move along. This story is far too rich and purposeful to simply move along.
In the Heart of the Dark Wood is a standalone novel, yet, not for me. Im thankful I read, in the following order, When Mockingbirds Sing, The devil Walks in Mattingly, and then In the Heart of the Dark Wood. This story is set almost two years after The Storm hit in When Mockingbirds Sing. It is a coming of age story of Allie Granderson and Zach Barnett. Its my favorite kind of story and Mr. Coffeys writing style puts me right among these children venturing through the dark wood. Whether you fell in love with Zach and Allie in the previous novels, or you choose to read this novel first, you will simply adore these two children coming of age before your very eyes. This story is intense, funny, and beautiful. I highly recommend it.
christiangirl4evr5 Stars Out Of 5In the Heart of the Dark WoodAugust 24, 2015christiangirl4evrQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5This book is incredible! Billy Coffey has put 2 "coming of age" kids into an impossible situation and they came out of it stronger. I liked that they were not "rescued" in the wood, but came home on their own. Anything else would have taken away from their experience of bringing Allie's momma home. I loved the entire book, especially how spiritual it actually was. It's a bit of a long read for the majority to be about only the 2 kids, but so worth it. Close to the end, the author states that Allie will return to the woods years later. I hold onto that line, anxiously waiting for that book to come. This is the 3rd book by this author I have read, all of them set in Mattingly, and I've loved every one of them. Billy Coffey grabs your attention and holds it all the way through. There are suspenseful times and very poignant moments. Absolutely amazing....
lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5ExceptionalFebruary 5, 2015lcjohnson1988IndianaAge: 45-54Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5Billy Coffey once again has written a brilliant masterpiece which captures both the heart and mind of readers everywhere. One never knows exactly what mystery waits in the pages of his novels; yet, anticipation always runs high when first opening the book. In other novels written by the author, I experienced mystery that is spiritual and yet palpable in the deepest part of my soul. All of the authors novels are set in the town of Mattingly where the woods have been the focus of many stories and adventures.
When opening the story with the character Allie Granderson and her fixation on the plastic figure of Mary in her nativity which she leaves on display year round, readers will soon get lost in the heart-gripping tale. Allies father, Marshall, brings an all too true and realistic way some deal with lifes tragedies along with Allies response to Marshall. The story is set five days before Christmas. Allie along with her best friend Tommy set out to find the plastic figure Mary that was blown away in a storm.
The tale brings out the themes of unresolved grief, community support, faith, puberty and discovery. The novel begins with the kids in school before break and then leads readers on a heart-tugging adventure all the way to Christmas. As the two main characters, Tommy and Allie, set out for the woods to find the missing Mary, they discover along the way something heart-stopping. The author takes readers to what is happening with the two kids to what is also occurring at the same time in the town of Mattingly. The way the author wrote it was wonderful and reminds us of the multi-faceted way life happens which only God can see and we tend to forget is happening.
Grab a copy and then sit down and be prepared for an adventure in Billy Coffeys novel, In the Heart of the Dark Wood!
JanetBelton, TXAge: 45-54Gender: Female3 Stars Out Of 5Recommended with Caution, MaybeFebruary 3, 2015JanetBelton, TXAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 3Value: 3Meets Expectations: 3"In the Heart of the Dark Wood" is a coming of age story about two eleven-year-olds, a boy and a girl who've been best friends for pretty much all of their lives, who get lost in the woods and struggle to survive. Unfortunately, they have different goals apart from surviving. Zach wants to do the responsible and manly thing, to get himself, the girl, and her dog safely home. Allie wants to complete the mission that brought them to the woods in the first place. She wants to find her mother, who disappeared 18 months earlier when a tornado devastated their town. The author tells us one day into their ordeal exactly how long it will last; he just doesn't tell us whether or not they will get home alive . . . and he really keeps readers guessing about that.
As fascinating as the book was, in a just-can't-look-away-from-the-wreck sort of way, I recommend it with caution, if I recommend it at all. I can't make up my mind. If I hadn't promised to read it for review, I probably would have put it down before the 10th page. Even then, I almost set it aside at about page 80; I'd just had enough of the author's focus on all the unpleasant details of life. A lot of it seemed unnecessary and irrelevant, too much. I did keep reading, though, and once the kids were lost in the woods, I wanted to know their fate. Now that I know, I'm not sure I believe their story ended the way it did. And I'm not sure I get the message of the book, other than that, in order to grow up, we have to let go of the past and move as bravely as we can into the future, and that God, Who is more mysterious than we can comprehend, is watching over us and directing our steps even though He sometimes leads us into painful or unpleasant places for our ultimate good and growth.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers in exchange for this honest review.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: female4 Stars Out Of 5Not the best from CoffeyJanuary 8, 2015bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: 55-65Gender: femaleQuality: 4Value: 5Meets Expectations: 3Coffey's books have that haunting sense of magical realism, where the spiritual intersects the natural. Such is the case with this one.
While the first two novels about Mattingly grabbed me, this one was harder for me to read. I thought the opening scenes when Allie begins to menstruate were just odd. I realize this is part of the coming of age aspect of the novel but, as a woman, I just did not feel good about this part of the novel.
An aspect of the novel I found limiting was the emphasis on two characters. Allie and Zach are kids and there is only so much character development that can be framed within the experiences the two had. The setting of being in the wild limited the outer influences upon them. Having them come across an old mountain man could have added variety to their growth experiences.
And that leads to another area. I felt the book was just too long and repetitious. After a while I had to push myself to continue reading. I got tired of yet another near death experience. I almost felt like Coffey was aiming for quantity of words rather than quality. I did not find many memorable sentences like I did in his previous books.
The novel is an interesting representation of good and evil and would generate good discussion. Does God use evil and disaster to direct us to where He wants us to go? Why does God have sharp edges?
A good novel, just not his best.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of an independent and honest review.