Into the Forest by Jean Hegland kept me up half the night.

I try to be a responsible human and member of society. This involves not staying up reading way past my bedtime on a work night. This book was such a trip, it kept me up til 1 am last night finishing it. Work was sort of rough today, and I made pancakes for my kids for dinner tonight because I was too tired to mess with anything else, but I’m ok with that.

This was my ‘about nature’ book for the Reading Women Challenge, and it most definitely is about nature. It’s also a dystopian/post-apocalyptic story. Two teenage sisters are living alone far out in the woods in Northern California while society collapses across the US. It’s never really explained what has happened, but gradually the power and phone fail, people get sick and disappear, and general lawlessness and chaos ensues. Eva and Nell have been homeschooled and somewhat isolated their whole lives in the home of their parents 30 miles from the nearest town and many miles from their nearest neighbors, and since they don’t have a lot of info about what’s happening, we don’t either.

Gradually, we learn about how they came to be alone out there. Slowly, we watch them change and grow as things fall apart. Weird and unlikely things happen. Horrible stuff happens—this book needs pretty much all the trigger warnings. At one point, something seriously messed up and unexpected happens that caused me to make this face for a while: 😧. It’s graphic and violent and very, very well written. This book is dark and sort of all over the place, but it’s so good. And as I said, it kept me up half the night to get to the ending.

And then that ending left me just a little bit stunned. I absolutely didn’t see that coming, but I kind of liked it anyway. I see now that there is a movie based on this… I’m not sure I’m emotionally prepared to watch it, but I’m intrigued.

Also! I have now finished all of the prompts for Reading Women, so this is my first challenge completed for 2019. Pretty pleased with that. 😎


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