In the Dark, in the Woods by Eliza Wass

In the Dark, in the Woods

Written by Eliza Wass

13+ readers   Debuts of the Month   YA readers   
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May 2016 Debut of the Month Haunting coming-of-age page-turner about 16 year-old Castley’s battle to break free from her father’s repressive religious mania.

The five Cresswell siblings and their broken, doll-like mum live in the foreboding shadow of their abusive dad, who uses God as a weapon of control and has brought them up to believe that they’re “the only pure people left on earth”. The family live deep in the woods, physically and ideologically isolated from the outside world, which, their father preaches, is not the real world. According to him, the sooner they’re all in heaven, the better.

Although their father considers school to be for the wicked, he’s obliged to send his children, and it’s there that Castley’s life begins to change. At school, her mind, body and soul are awakened to real-life revelations, like “the freedom of living inside a kiss”. She realises that “sometimes you need other people to taste the stars”, and longs to live as a normal teenager who hangs out with friends and wears cutoff jeans. Then, as Castley’s world opens up, so her father’s fervor to reach heaven escalates, and she must summon the strength to be true to herself and fight back. ~ Joanne Owen


In the Dark, in the Woods by Eliza Wass

Castley Cresswell is sixteen. She lives with her three brothers and two sisters in a big house in the woods. Her mom doesn't speak and her dad keeps telling her that God hates the world. Castley can't bring herself to hate the world. She likes the woods, for one thing. School can be fun, sometimes. And then there's boys. God definitely hates fun and boys. Castley loves her brothers and sisters, too. Even if they annoy her. Even if they are scared to death of Father. Even if they're too scared to run. Father wants Castley and her siblings to stay in the family forever. And he'll do whatever it takes to keep them there, even if it means the Cresswell kids never get to grow up at all ...What if survival means Castley must leave her brothers and sisters behind?


'Haunting, unexpected, beautifully written. One of the best books I've read this year.' -- Louise O'Neill

About the Author

Eliza Wass is a freelance writer, editor and journalist. She comes from Southern California, where she was one of nine perfect children with two perfect parents. She has thousands of friends, all of whom either arrive inside dust jackets or post obsessively on Twitter. Eliza spent 7 years in London with the most amazing man in the world, her late husband, Alan Wass of Alan Wass and The Tourniquet, who inspired her to pursue her dreams and live every day of her life.

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Book Info


304 pages
Interest Age: From 12


Eliza Wass
More books by Eliza Wass


Quercus Children's Books an imprint of Hachette Children's Group

Publication date

21st April 2016




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