Have you ever wanted to read a story from your childhood again but you resist because you feel it won’t ever feel as magical as the first time you read it. Upon reading ‘The Secret of Nightingale Wood’ by Lucy Strange I felt like I stepped back in time and rediscovered a lost classic. It has all the charm, magic and wonder of ‘The Secret Garden’, ‘The Little Princess’ and the ‘The Children of Green Knowe’. It left me with tears in my eyes and joy in my heart, in this truly incredible debut from Lucy Strange.
Henrietta or Henry as she likes to be known finds herself at Hope House after a terrible tragedy has befallen her family which nobody wants to talk about. Her Mama is ill, her father has taken a job abroad and Nanny Jane is too busy looking after the baby to pay any attention. Left all alone with only stories to occupy her, she seeks solace within those pages from all the strange secrets the grown ups are trying to keep from her. An attic filled with dusty children’s toys, whispered conversations of special hospitals and rumours of a witch in the wood all disturb Henry’s sensibilities. When it becomes clear that all that she holds dear is under threat and her family is on the verge of disintegration, Henry ventures into Nightingale Wood trying to find answers to these tangled mysteries.
I absolutely adored this beautifully told tale filled with hope, unlikely friendships and hidden secrets. Henry is the most marvellous character filled with spirit and courage despite being constantly challenged for trying to intervene in her mother’s welfare. Her love, determination and sheer grit is just joyful. She is a character who will capture you heart as she embarks on this quest to bring her family back together. Haunting and sad the pain and grief of the family seeps through the pages and you feel their loss and despair. Ultimately this is a book about healing and never giving up and finding your inner strength in the darkest of times, This book will enchant and captivate you allowing you to lose yourself within this exquisitely told story, filled with intrigue and adventure.
Thank you to Lucy Strange for sending me a copy of this book.