Book Review – The Ghost Woods

Title: The Ghost Woods

Author: C.J.Cooke

Genre: Mystery/ Historical/ Gothic

Goodreads Rating: 4.25

My Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Source: ARC


In the midst of the woods stands a house called Lichen Hall.

This place is shrouded in folklore – old stories of ghosts, of witches, of a child who was not quite a child.

Now the woods are creeping closer, and something has been unleashed.

Pearl Gorham arrives in 1965, one of a string of young women sent to Lichen Hall to give birth. And she soon suspects the proprietors are hiding something.

Then she meets the mysterious mother and young boy who live in the grounds – and together they begin to unpick the secrets of this place.

As the truth comes to the surface and the darkness moves in, Pearl must rethink everything she knew – and risk what she holds most dear.

My Review:

I’d like to thank NetGalley and Harper Collins UK for approving me for an ARC of this book. I listened to the audiobook of The Lighthouse Witches last year and absolutely loved it so could not resist requesting this one. I even found a copy of the book in Rossiter Books, Cheltenham to add to my collection.

The Ghost Woods is a dual timeline story which is one of my favourite tropes. I love seeing how the two different stories come together and how they are linked. Whilst these two stories were set quite close together in terms of time I loved the puzzle of figuring out what had happened in a short space of time.

Our first story centre around Mabel, a young girl who finds herself pregnant in the late 1950’s and is sent to Lichen Hall, a home for unwed pregnant women. The plan is for her to give birth to her child and then give it up for adoption before returning home. When she arrives there she meets Morwen and the two soon develop a loving friendship.

Skip forward to 1965 and Pearl, also pregnant finds herself at Lichen Hall. From the minute she arrives things are not right and you get the sense that she is in trouble. Mabel no longer works at the house and every one seems to be lying to her. The owner Mrs Whitlock is acting very strange and Pearl can’t work out what is going on. To top if all off there’s also something strange happening in the woods.

I will fully admit that this book gave me all the creepy, spooky dark Halloween vibes I was expecting. I was engrossed in the story and wanted to work out what was going on. There were lies, secrets, love, friendship and so much that the end felt like a whirlwind. I love that the story is based on real places and whilst the events in this book did not happen, establishments like Lichen Hall did exist and it’s scary to think of the trauma’s many young women and children faced in such recent times.

C.J. Cooke has done it again and written something superb, it’s twisted, horrifying and full of suspense. Definitely the perfect spooky read for this season!


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