Stacia (the 2010 club)'s Reviews > Into the Forest

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
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's review
May 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: new-adult-college, dystopia-or-apocalyptic, dark-or-taboo, realistic-general-or-lit-fiction
Read in May, 2012

By its very nature the beautiful is isolated from everything else.
From beauty no road leads to reality.
~Hannah Arendt

I waited for over a year to read Into the Forest. In that frame of time, I had imagined this idea in my head of a book filled with controversy and chaos. The reality of what this book was never crossed paths with what I had imagined. It was far better.

This story takes place in a post-apocalyptic time but it is not a post-apocalyptic book. This story features an act of incest (very brief - blink and you'll miss it) but it is not a book featuring an incestuous relationship. For everything that I thought Into the Forest would be, I realized that I was wrong. Very rarely am I glad to be wrong.

If the last book I'd read was bright lights and noise, then this book would surely be dark and quiet. Make no mistake though. Quiet can be beautiful.

The beauty was in the details. Heavy world building was not needed, for our characters lived in a world of solitude, away from the rest of a population in ruin. Survival and perseverance were the core values at the center of this world. If reading about day-to-day existence would not interest you, then this might not be a book you'd appreciate, which is fine. For me, I devoured this story in almost one sitting. As a child, I loved the Little House books. My favorites being Little House in the Big Woods and The Long Winter, the common thread between those two stories being the elements of day-to-day survival and finding the means to care for oneself with limited resources. I also had fascination with Claire's use of plants for medicinal purposes in the book Outlander, which is also a part of what happens in this particular tale.

For the two sisters of Into the Forest, the journey was rough. They leaned on one another to make it through. As of now, their future is wide open. I did not mind the open ending but I'm not sure if I would have made the same decision that they did. I guess it's good that I'm not trying to survive out in a world where every man fends for themselves.

This book was beautifully written in the form of one long and personal reflection. There are no chapter breaks but I didn't seem to mind that. The first few sections did have a bit more "retelling" than I cared to know about but the last half of the book was enthralling. Even though I know that this type of story won't be for everyone, I'm so glad that I took the time. It was worth the wait.
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Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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message 1: by Katy (new)

Katy Sounds interesting! Can't wait to hear what you think. If its good I might pick it up :)

Stacia (the 2010 club) The first section of the book is very slow but not boring if that makes sense. Nothing really happened, yet I found myself interested in what was happening in their day to day survival.

It's a lot more mellow than I'd expected for a post apocalyptic book but I guess that's the point because these girls are pretty much cut off from the outside world, so there isn't really any "action" to be had. Even though it's not what I'd been expecting, I found myself reading almost the entire book in one sitting tonight, which was unexpected. I only have about 40 pages left to finish tomorrow!

message 3: by Regina (new) - added it

Regina You read this fast! Is it a fast read?

Stacia (the 2010 club) I don't think it was a short book but I got so caught up in what was happening that I plowed right through it. If there hadn't been so much unnecessary back story about the mom and dad who are now dead, I might have gone up to 5 stars on the rating.

This book might drive someone crazy if they want detailed explanations for "why" the characters are in their situation but I found myself not caring because the point of the story had nothing to do with the outside world.

message 5: by Regina (new) - added it

Regina Interesting. I can't wait to read it.

message 6: by Michelle (new)

Michelle [Helen Geek] Lovely review!

message 7: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I loved this book as well.

Stacia (the 2010 club) Jessica, it was unique, wasn't it?

Thank you Michelle. :)

message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica yes it was. Thing is: I gave it to my sister to read and I think she liked it but not as much as I, and I recommended it to another friend who found it "predictable." That was not my experience at all!

♥ Marlene♥ Yes. This was a great book!

message 11: by Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) (last edited May 18, 2012 08:48AM) (new)

Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) I've thought about adding this book to my future reads. Your review is kind of intriguing so I think I will. You have steered me in the right direction before. I ordinarily do not like dystopian books but this sounds different.

message 12: by Jessica (new)

Jessica I'm not a fan of dystopian literature myself, but I loved this book.

Stacia (the 2010 club) It was, Marlene.

I agree with Jessica. The story reads more like literary fiction.

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