I saw this book on a friend’s Goodreads account and was instantly intrigued by a.) the title and b.) the cover. I had been on the lookout for a good thriller since finishing all of Gillian Flynn’s books and this one seemed like a promising candidate.
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware is about a writer named Leonora who receives an email to a high school friend’s hen party. She hasn’t spoken to this friend for 10 years and they had left on some what rough terms so Nora does not understand why she is invited but ends up going anyways. The bachelorette party is taking place in Flo, the maid of honor’s, aunt’s house in the middle of the woods. However, something goes terribly wrong that weekend and Nora wakes up in the hospital trying to remember what had happened and whether or not she had caused it.
I absolutely loved the setting. GAH it was amazing! Seriously. A house, isolated in the middle of the woods, with the walls being entirely made of glass. It is literally known as the “Glass House.” How creepy does that sound? I’ll tell ya: very creepy. It is the perfect setting for this story. From the very minute the arrive there for the weekend you almost feel as if you are in a glass house and someone is watching you the whole time. It was perfect.
Another way Ware creates a sense of apprehension and eeriness is through the different time periods. Part of the book takes place before it all goes wrong and then the other part takes place as Nora is in the hospital afterwards. It jumps back and forth between these two times and whenever Nora is in the hospital you, as a reader, learn a little bit more about what is happening. But instead of that clearing the air it just makes you more apprehensive. You know something bad is going to happen but you don’t really know when. It is almost like watching a horror movie, where you are waiting for something to jump out at you.
Nora as a main character was not very likable for most of the book. She had made a lot of stupid decisions that could have prevented everything that happened. She is that character in the horror movie that you question why they did what they did. However, by the end of the book I was rooting for her a little bit. But for the most part she kept just making stupid decisions and I wanted to shake her. I liked the character Nina much better. She seemed more complex and was funnier too.
One of the problems that comes with reading a lot of suspense and thriller type books is I think you can get a feel for where the plot is going. The book was fairly predictable. A lot of the little hints thrown out were not so subtle and it was clear to see where they were going to go with that. I had about 3 theories going through out the book and one of them was correct. Sometimes a book will still throw in a little surprise by the end of the book that I did not see coming. Unfortunately, this book did not.
So while the mood and setting of the book were really eerie it was still predictable by the end of the book and left me feeling a little let down because the beginning was so good.