The Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood

Untitled designOoof, if ever there was a book with a deceptive cover it’s this one. I knew next to nothing about this book going in except that a lot of people really loved it, and it has a beautiful cover. I had visions of a beautiful, literary tale, a coming of age story, with maybe some love thrown in there. How wrong can one girl be. Although, it’ll teach me to be more observant because of course the warning signs are there in the cover, if you look closely: the chains and traps hanging down amongst the foliage, the knife implanted in the flower, they all point to the dark and, at times, horrifying content within.

As usual, I don’t want to say too much about the story, as I definitely think the shock and power that Wood’s words and story contains is best felt front on, with no warning. The book had me completely gripped, and I ended up reading it in about two days – I was up until the wee hours of the morning reading it because I didn’t want to put it down. The world she has created is terrifying in its reality, but also completely shocking and disturbing. I have heard people say they wept after finishing this book, and while my reaction wasn’t quite that dramatic, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I can’t quite banish the characters from my mind, nor can I stop wondering at the ending, and marvelling at the really great writing.

If you know anything about the story, you might think it was going to be a depressing and disturbing read, and at times it is, but it is so worth it. This was an incredible read – I give it 5 out of 5 deceptive book covers.


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