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The Church in the Wildwood

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4.77  ·  Rating details ·  26 ratings  ·  12 reviews
**SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2018 KOBO EMERGING WRITER AWARD**

A haunted past; a father's ghost; a mother's secret.

As fifteen-year-old Joseph Carver peels back the layers of a haunted past, he finds himself lost in the shadows of his mother's unorthodox religion; desperate to uncover the truth about his father's death and the sister he never met—learning that sometimes, it is only
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Published (first published May 1st 2017)
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Average rating 4.77  · 
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 ·  26 ratings  ·  12 reviews


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Geraldine Mac
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Alanna Rusnak is a wordsmith. She is both mistress and master of her craft. Everything she puts her pen to is magical, and The Church in the Wildwood is no exception. From the initial page to the last word the tale was gripping in pace, tension, and story; and the characters deep, and feeling. While unusual, and at times downright eerie, Joshua Carver, the young male protagonist, was simultaneously terrified and brave throughout; but it was his mother, Iris, who deftly stole the pages of this bo ...more
Kristina
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Alanna is such a lovely writer, her words are poetic and tragic but filled with hope. She deals with real darkness in The Church in the Wildwood but does so in such a beautiful way. This book left me with a smile on my face and a feeling of peace. I loved it.
TeamWilson
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I couldn’t put it down!

Having 2 young kids, it’s been a very long time since I have sat down and read a book. This was one I literally couldn’t put down. It look me less than 5 hours to read it. In every chapter, Alanna pulled me in, developing characters and emotions and scenarios on every page. I’m very much looking forward to reading the other books in this series.
Dawn
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Following a tragic accident, the tortured past of Joseph’s mother is brought to light. How much of Joseph’s history has been distorted through her deception? Does her past as an abused, child-bride in a polygamist cult excuse her sins? Does the camp fire story about his father’s suicide hold any truth? What really happened the day he was born?

A deeply evocative story, The Church in the Wildwood presents humanity at both its best and worst. The depth and authenticity of each character is a triump
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Michelle McLaughlin
This story weaves the lives of the characters in a beautifully tragic tale of love and rejection, hope and despair, abuse and healing. It is the classic story of the human needs to be understood, accepted and belong.

Rusnak simultaneously tells the story of a young boy coming of age while his mother learns to move beyond her haunting past. The author crosses storylines from the past with the present to enlighten the reader of elements of the characters' past that have shaped them into who they h
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Janet Sinopoli
Sep 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The journey I was taken on while reading this book was one that I hadn't expected. Not really a fan of anything religious, The Church in the Wildwood was a story entrenched in religion that wove itself into a tragic family history that spanned a few decades and generations. I went from thinking Joseph was strange and conniving to sweet to disturbed. Iris's upbringing is something right out of a horror story itself, ironically deeply routed in religion however the way she and her son live their l ...more
Winter Writer Books
This was a hard read. There’s not much of this book that I enjoyed reading. It’s about incredible difficult times within the confines of man-made religion that unfortunately tends to reflect real life rather than remaining on the page.

However, it was a story I needed to read. It’s an invaluable eyeopener that was so wonderfully communicated by the hand of Ms Rusnak.

She writes with such illustrious clarity and complexity that I never once felt that I was reading a second rate b-novel.

I hesitat
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Tiffany Allen
Apr 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
We read this book for one of our book club picks! It was a great book for that! If you are looking for a book club book this was a good choice!
Pamela J.
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully woven tale exploring the complexity of relationships, family, and love. The story flows between two time periods, giving the reader a glimpse into some of the experiences that form beliefs and views of the world. Real characters with imperfections, depth and honest voices. A unique storyline that engages you from beginning to end.
Zev Good
Apr 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me from the title, to be perfectly honest.

Look to many of the stories that formed us as children and you'll see that when anyone enters a forest they come out changed on the other side. "A Church in the Wildwood" is no different, but it is so much more than a cautionary morality tale; indeed it doesn't warn us away from the perils of the wildwood, but instead beckons us closer.

Our stories never begin with ourselves, and the story of Joseph Carver is no different. His story began b
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Tsara Shelton
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This novel is hauntingly imagined and gorgeously told. It immediately surrounded me with a mood that lingered almost heavily, while the intriguing and layered plot made it an absolute page-turner!

The Church In The Wildwood is expertly and thoughtfully crafted, an impressive recipe of poetry and plot- it captivated me with beautiful phrasing that begged attention while twists, turns, and soul-searching characters compelled me to quickly read on. The author offers a heartwrenching and dangerous s
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Jodi
A tragic (but enthralling) tale of twins separated at birth, growing up with a sense that "something is missing" and the truly beautiful story of their reunion. Such an intense, smothering love between Joseph and his mother, Iris Carver, leading him to the brink of an act of desperation.
Candi P.
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Jan 21, 2019
Tammy Bartley
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Aug 30, 2017
Steph Rusnak
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Jun 17, 2017
Christine
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Sep 20, 2018
Trish Mcculloch
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Mar 26, 2018
Kim Buchanan-robinson
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Nov 19, 2017
Andrea Scoretz
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Diana Bawn
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Diane
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Sheri Falconer
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Julie Barker-Burtch
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Marie
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Geraldine Mac
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Alanna Rusnak
Feb 23, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Alanna Rusnak
Apr 21, 2016 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, literary
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Alanna lives on a small patch of untamable land in southwestern Ontario, with her three children, husband, and their vintage van. Alanna has been saturated in classic Canadian fiction since she was a young child and has been passionate about words for nearly as long, stubbornly holding to the dream of someday spinning her own tales. Now, when evening falls, she tucks herself into her self-made stu ...more

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