Sunday 9 July 2017

The Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse #BlogTour @LesleyPearse @ed_pr #25in25

Fifteen-year-old twins Maisy and Duncan Mitcham have always had each other. Until the fateful day in the wood . . .
One night in 1960, the twins awake to find their father pulling their screaming mother from the house. She is to be committed to an asylum. It is, so their father insists, for her own good.
It's not long before they, too, are removed from their London home and sent to Nightingales - a large house deep in the New Forest countryside - to be watched over by their cold-hearted grandmother, Mrs Mitcham. Though they feel abandoned and unloved, at least here they have something they never had before - freedom.
The twins are left to their own devices, to explore, find new friends and first romances. That is until the day that Duncan doesn't come back for dinner. Nor does he return the next day. Or the one after that.
When the bodies of other young boys are discovered in the surrounding area the police appear to give up hope of finding Duncan alive. With Mrs Mitcham showing little interest in her grandson's disappearance, it is up to Maisy to discover the truth. And she knows just where to start. The woman who lives alone in the wood about whom so many rumours abound. A woman named Grace Deville.
The Woman in the Wood is a powerful, passionate and sinister tale of a young woman's courage, friendship and determination.

The Woman in the Woods by Lesley Pearse was published in hardback by Michael Joseph on 29th June 2017 and is the author's twenty-fifth novel!
I'm delighted to be hosting the BLOG TOUR for The Woman in the Wood here on Random Things today, which celebrates both this excellent novel and the author's 25in25.

For me, the thought of a new Lesley Pearse novel is always a thrill, I've been reading her books for over twenty years and she is a special favourite of mine. Her books are big, and it's always a delight to spend time with her characters.

The Woman in the Wood is set in the 1960s, one of my favourite eras to read about, and features Maisy and Duncan Mitcham; fifteen-year old twins who come from a well-to-do, if fairly dysfunctional family.

When their sick mother is admitted to an asylum, and their cold and distant father packs them off to their even colder grandmother in the countryside, they are appalled. Yet despite the lacklustre welcome from their grandmother, they begin to love living in the New Forest, and grow attached to housekeeper Janice and their tutor. Duncan also strikes up a peculiar friendship with Grace Deville; the 'woman in the wood' of the title. Grace lives alone in a tiny cottage, with no electricity, and no company except her dog Toby, but Duncan is determined to get to know her.

When Duncan disappears without a trace, and other young boys are reported missing too, the family becomes even more disjointed, and only Maisy and Grace seem determined to find out what has happened.

Lesley Pearse creates wonderful characters and The Woman in the Wood is populated by her trademark strong female cast. Maisy and Grace are incredibly well developed, intelligent and full of warmth. Although this is lengthy read at 400 pages in the hardback copy, it is so well crafted that the reader is transported to the New Forest and time flies by so quickly whilst reading.

Woven into this evocative and compelling story are some dark and very serious issues. This author doesn't gloss over the crimes committed or the impact that they have on the characters. She also deals with some complex family relationships, gently informing her reader, piece by piece to see what has shaped her characters and formed their behaviours.

Once more, Lesley Pearse has produced an enigmatic and compelling story that will delight her fans and entice new readers too. I happily recommend The Woman in the Wood.

I'm delighted to welcome Lesley Pearse to Random Things today with a factoid piece about The Woman in the Wood:

I went to the New Forest with a friend, and I told him I fancied writing a story about someone who children believe is a witch. Imagine my surprise when I’m told that Burley the village we are staying in, is considered to be the epicentre of witchery. As it turns out the book is not about witches, but  a misunderstood recluse of a woman and the fifteen year old twins who befriend her. 

Lesley Pearse's novels have sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. 

She lives in Devon and loves walking on the beach with her Grandchildren and dogs .

You can find out more:
Twitter: @LesleyPearse 

1 comment:

  1. You always put it so eloquently Anne, I thought this was a great story and very well tackled considering some of the content xxx