**MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS**
“In the Heart of the Dark Wood” By Billy Coffey
There are two other books in this book series, however I found I didn’t need to read them to enjoy this book. After reading this book though I hope to read the first two so I can get more in-depth with the characters and the town of Mattingly. Just from this third book I’ve fallen in love with them all.
Allie, a 6th grader whose mother was lost in the town’s The Storm, or the winds that took many lives in Mattingly. Her mother’s body was the only one not found and Allie holds on to hope that they will find her and bring her home. One of Allie’s prize possessions is a broken plastic compass her mom gave her the say the winds took her away. Her friend Alex is always looking out for her and is the only friend Allie has kept since the Storm. Another possession that Allie loves is the Nativity Set in her front yard. She views it as her dad, her mom and her. One night the winds come back and take the Mother Mary away. That morning Allie finds her compass is now working. She takes this as a sign from her Mother and asks Alex to help her follow the compass into the woods. It’s winter time and both children are lost in the woods for 4 days. They face their fears, their emotions and Allie has to face God again. Meanwhile Allie’s father is doing his own searching in life.
I can’t share much more of this story. There is just so much in it and things that come as a surprise. I want you to read this book and enjoy it as much as I did.
I feel like I was meant to pick this book up at this time in my life. I’m in a deep depression and there have been many tough days and nights in my life recently. Some days I don’t think I’ll make it through the next. Some days I question what God is doing. Other days I think I finally see a clearing in my path only to walk back into darkness. “In the Heart of the Dark Wood” captured my life in a metaphor. I’m like Allie and Alex searching for something they don’t think they will ever find. They suffer many physical pains and heart ache. Just when they think their journey is ending more woods come in view or something even scarier comes their way, pushing them towards the path they don’t want to take but need to to find what they are looking for. It’s true in my life. I know that these dark times will pass, but I have a journey I need to take to get through them.
I would say this book is good for anyone 14 or older. There are a lot of tough circumstances these kids go through but in the end they find Hope. This would be a good book to read with your kids, talk about depression and where God is in it all.