Short Review #5: In the House in the Dark of the Woods by Laird Hunt (2018)

Review: 3 out of 5 ⭐️
Title: In the House in the Dark of the Woods
Author: Laird Hunt
Published: 2018 (Little, Brown and Company, New York)
Pages: 214 (hardcover)
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, New England Colonial, Paranormal
Link Here

Library copy of In the House in the Dark of the Woods next to sliced oranges

The Colonial American thriller, In the House in the Dark of the Woods was definitely an odd book for sure! The synopsis makes this short novel with a long title sound eerie and threatening, but honestly, I did not find this book to be scary. There were some horror elements for certain, but I wasn’t frightened or kept on my toes. Overall though, I enjoyed this book because of the masterful twists, and the storytelling was lyrical like out of a fairy tale.

I admired the creativity and mythology in the story as the main character, an unnamed Puritan wife and mother referred to as Goody, ventures through the forest and as she becomes lost, ends up on a surreal and more personal journey. She encounters seemingly wiser and haunted characters of the forest who guide her, but everything is not as it seems.

I found the book to be more intimate and hopeful as the story progressed, and as we deep-dived into Goody’s psyche. But just wait until the twists! That alone makes this book worth the read. If you read this book for one reason alone, it should be for the plot elements and twists. My only negative remark would be the story at times almost became too dense and hard to follow. Maybe it’s just the writing style trying to reflect the historical time period, but near the middle I almost did not want to finish it. If you encounter the same, I encourage you to power through it!

A tale is a funny thing, and even when it’s your own and you have a quill in your hand you must be careful where you touch it” – Laird Hunt, In the House in the Dark of the Woods

If you’re looking for a redemptive New England Colonial horror and fantasy novel, In the House in the Dark of the Woods is a perfect book to try. Natural and supernatural elements of an American Puritanical setting collide to form a story revolving around one woman’s accidental wandering… Or is it?

Overall, I give this book a 3 out of 5!


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