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The Woman in the Wood

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  3,353 ratings  ·  330 reviews

Fifteen-year-old twins Maisy and Duncan Mitcham have always had each other. Until the fateful day in the wood . . .

One night in 1960, the twins awake to find their father pulling their screaming mother from the house. She is to be committed to an asylum. It is, so their father insists, for her own good.

It's not long before they, too, are removed from their London hom

Kindle Edition, 391 pages
Published June 29th 2017 by Penguin
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  3,353 ratings  ·  330 reviews

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Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is wonderful multilayered historical fiction set in the Britain of the 1960s. It revolves around the mystery of a missing child. Maisy and Duncan Mitcham are twins who experience the most disturbing of nights when they are privy to their father, Alastair, sending their mother, Lily, to the asylum, apparently for her own good. The disorientated and confused twins are unhappy with their father, although family life had been strained for some time. Alastair has the twins move to the New Forest ...more
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 5000-2020
I was rather amazed to come across an English author who writes crime and historical fiction, has written 25 books, has an apparently adoring fan base and who I had never heard of! I dived into The Woman in the Wood with great interest.

It turned out to be rather an odd book and I struggled to see who it was aimed at. Everything was explained as though the audience might not understand, for example, what happens when a young boy is abducted and held by his abductor for weeks. As though in fact he
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
The Woman in the Wood marks bestselling British author Lesley Pearse’s twenty fifth book, which is an achievement in itself. I have followed and enjoyed Pearse’s work for some years now. The latest release from Pearse is another compelling saga, tying together a complex family drama, within a crime fiction narrative and it also features a strong historical backdrop of 1960’s Britain.

The Woman in the Wood opens in the year 1960. At the West London home of Hol
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fifteen year old twins Duncan and Maisy Mitcham are woken in the middle of the night only to discover that their mother is being taken away to an asylum. According to their father it's the best thing for her.

Within a few days of their mother leaving Duncan and Maisy are being sent to live with their cold hearted grandmother at Nightingales which is located deep in the New Forrest countryside. Their grandmother is not kind, loving or caring towards them and she leaves them to do as they pleased
Twins Maisy and Duncan Mitcham were fifteen years old when their mother was taken away in an ambulance; only a matter of days later they were driven by their father to stay at Nightingales. Deep in the New Forest countryside, it was where their father had grown up; their grandmother lived there, but they didn’t much like her. She was a stiff and unemotional old woman who couldn’t be bothered with her grandchildren. Janice, the housekeeper, was Maisy and Duncan’s lifeline. She treated them as her ...more
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
The woman in the woods by Lesley pearse is the first book I've read by this author and I can tell you it won't be the last.
This book starts as a easy family drama (as easy as that can be) book then you hit the middle then it's twists into a thrilling mystery which you don't see coming.
It's funny, very sad and shocking all at the same time.
I highly recommend the woman in the woods if you're looking for a easy but thrilling read.
Louise Wilson
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
When fifteen-year-old twins, Maisy and Duncan Mitcham's mother has to go into an asylum, the twins have to go to their Grandmothers house in the country. Their Grandmother is cold and distant and leaves the twins alone to their own devices. Then one day Duncan does not come home from the woods.

I am a huge fan of Lesley Pearse and her unique style in writing. The book covers all bases:- tension, romance, friendship, drama and crime. There is a fantastic character list of which some are likeable,
Zuky the BookBum
Feb 27, 2018 added it
Shelves: dnf, 2018
DNF @ 25%

25% might seem like an early place to give up, but nothing had happened and I was getting fed up. I almost put it down at 15% but reading Janel’s (Keeper of Pages) review spurred me on to reading the next 10% before I had to give up.

The characters, for me, felt stiff and unrealistic, and the dialogue was so clunky! So stilted and proper. I didn’t like any of the characters I had read about that far into the story, so I couldn’t imagine liking any of them at any point! And that’s not a g
Jun 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle, netgalley
I am a huge Lesley Pearse fan she is my favourite author and I have read and loved every one of her books. I have recommended her books to many friends over the years who are now also fans.
I was eagerly awaiting this latest release, her 25th book and was delighted to receive an early copy so I started it straight away.

The Woman in the Wood was everything I'd hoped for, I loved it, it really captured my imagination I was completely taken in by the story.

I don't know how Lesley manages to keep
Jul 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I was disappointed by this book. I have read many by Lesley Pearse in the past and enjoyed them all, particularly 'Stolen' and I had high hopes for this one.

Although the premise of the story was good and the storyline proved excellent, I found it read like an Enid Blyton. Speech was stilted and unnatural - people said things that they just wouldn't say, solely for the purpose of getting part of the story over and I expected more of this author.

I found there was little tension and far more could
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
New Forest

Visit locations in the novel - The Woman in the Wood

Heartbreaking and emotional on so many levels. There’s everything you’d expect from a Lesley Pearse novel – emotions, intrigue, mystery and a cracking good story with full bodied characters. I can’t imagine the terror of seeing your mother torn from the family home, put into an asylum, growing up with little love and affection. The country during WW2 was a time for stiff upper lips and resilience but this is something else, and it ‘s a very e
Shirley Revill
Apr 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books
The Woman in the Wood
Wow, I loved this book but then I knew I would because Lesley Pearse is such a talented author.
It didn't matter that the weather was awful when I was out in our motorhome this year it gave me a valid reason for staying in and reading this brilliant story.
Everyone wanted to explore but I was secretly cheering when the heavens opened and the rain came pounding down.
There are lots of other reviews praising this story so I won't add any comments with the wonderful tale that is w
Jun 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Another fabulous book by Lesley Pearce. I have been reading books by this author for many, many years and I always enjoy them. This book due out at the end of June will undoubtedly entertain and be enjoyed by Ms Pearce's fans. Brilliant characters, great writing. A real page turner.
One to recommend. My thanks to the publisher & NetGalley for the advance reader copy.
Kelly Furniss
Dec 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lesley Pearce heads in a different direction than her usual books with this shocking tale but certainly does not disappoint.
The beginning hooked me right in and as the story unfolds we follow the story of twins Maisy & Duncan, the close bond they share but the shocking horrors they go through.
Why doesn't their cold Grandmother seem to care when suddenly Duncan doesn't return one day for dinner especially when police are investigating boys bodies that have turned up in the surrounding area?. Fra
Sep 11, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really can’t understand the 4/5 stars reviews for this book. For starters, this author must have bunked the lecture on show and tell, because there was no showing at all. This made for a one-dimensional plot and flat cardboard characters. There was a good deal of head-hopping and some glaring grammatical errors. The writing came over as a tad immature and had the subject matter not been quite so disturbing, it could easily have been written for a pre-adult audience.

The story is set in the earl
Miranda Verswijvelen
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
Never read a book of this writer, intrigued by the title and all publicity. I was disappointed. This read like an Enid Blyton 'Famous Five' book, but less plausible and less well written. Totally unrealistic portrayals and characters without much depth or realism (a boy who's been abused by a serial killer and has seen other boys been abused and killed kind of gets over this ordeal super easy and fast by doing some lonely gardening work - really?). Simplistic conversations, language and unlikely ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
3.5 stars

Set in 1960's England fifteen year old twins Duncan and Maisy have their lives torn apart when their mother is taken away and committed and their Father sends them to live in their Grandmother's house in The New Forest.
It follows their lives for the next few years where they try to grow up and figure out their futures but unfortunately both face some terrible experiences that will either make or break them.

You get a bit of everything with this book - there is some coming of age, mystery
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing

The Woman in the Wood is Lesley Pearse’ 25th book and what a great achievement. It is also the fifth book of hers that I’ve read; and Lesley is one of the few authors whose books I will always buy regardless. Her stories are family saga/drama based but with an added suspense/crime element and she doesn’t shy away from difficult or disturbing subjects, The Woman in the Wood being no exception. The storyline here is not a particularly pleasant one but despite it being set in the 1960’s it is s
Emma Crowley
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly The Woman in the Wood is the 25th novel from my favourite author Lesley Pearse. Lesley is a master storyteller who has the ability to weave a story that once you pick the book up it becomes unbearable to be away from it once you get stuck into it. You'd think having written so many books that the ideas mightn't flow like they once did or the calibre of writing and the storylines may dip but I found this has never been the case. With each book Lesley's writing gets stronger and stronge ...more
Jul 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
A mother in an asylum, a cold and distance grandmother, a missing child, a strange woman living alone in the wood – Pearse certainly knows the right ingredients for a historical mystery novel! As if that wasn’t enough, Pearse throws a little emotion into the story as well, while still maintaining the dark themes the blurb promises.

Interestingly, The Woman in the Wood features some very dark themes but I’d still recommend it to readers who tend to avoid novels with sinister themes/content. I say
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite
Very nice book with lovely characters. Written in an easy to follow way.
Charmaine Saliba
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
Brilliant! Easy read, the main characters are likeable and couldn’t help myself not caring for them. When I started this novel, I haven’t had a clue where this novel will take me but one thing I was sure that I won’t be disappointed. I love Lesley Pearse’s books, love her style and the way she manages to transport the readers through the story.
This is the story of Grace, a woman who isolated herself from the world, in fact she lives in a shack in the for
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm a little torn between four and five stars, but I got so caught up in this that five (or at least 4.5) feels warranted. I loved the characters in this, they felt very real. It deals with some pretty intense stuff, abuse, very dark sides of people, but I felt like Lesley Pearse handled them well, they weren't for mere shock value. I'm keen to read more by her - I know she is very prolific! ☺

Originally posted on This Chick Reads

'The Woman in the Wood' is Lesley Pearse's new book and one I've been SO excited about reading. Firstly, it's Lesley Pearse!!! How am I not supposed to be excited? And secondly it's her 25th book which adds another dimension and makes it even more special both for her and her fans who have been following her work devotedly for years. Her books have been No1 bestsellers and have sold in more than 10 million copies to date! One would expect that after so many b
Theresa Smith
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The Woman in the Wood is the first novel by Lesley Pearse that I have read. I’ve certainly seen her novels in stores and libraries, and her popularity is indicated by the mere fact that her novels have sold more than 10 million copies world wide. I’m not sure what rock I’ve been living under, but rest assured, I have emerged, I have read my first Lesley Pearse, and I am hooked.

What an amazing author she is! The way she builds a story, laying all the of foundations, bit by bit, increasing the ten
Jun 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Time taken to read - under 3 days on and off

Pages - 400

Publisher - Penguin

Blurb from Goodreads

Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960.

The twins are sent to their grandmother's country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn't come home from the woods.

With their grandmother seeming to have little interest in her grandson's disappearanc
Sam Still Reading
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: those looking for an unexpected mystery/thriller
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: from the publisher
I have always thought that Lesley Pearse writes ‘women’s fiction’ (even though I hate that term). I was completely mistaken on reading The Woman in the Wood – it’s a kind of mystery/thriller combination that is sometimes pretty blunt about what has happened to the characters. Don’t be put off by the given – the woman in the wood (Grace) is a key character but this story is ultimately about twins Maisy and Duncan.

The twins are in their teens, living what they think to be a fairly average life in
Abby Slater- Fairbrother
Jun 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I am a huge fan of Lesley Pearse. I still remember fondly the emotional rollercoaster that was, Remember me and it was 16yrs ago that I read it. She has such a wealth of novels in her back catalogue now, I wonder how she finds inspiration for new plot lines and characters. When I originally picked up The Woman In The wood, the cover and synopsis has an almost Hansel and Gretel feel to it.
I will say this, this is the darkest novel I have ever read by Lesley Pearse. I was quite taken aback in par
Sue McQuaide Kitt
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley-tbr
Another great Book from one of my favourite authors.
What I loved so much about The Woman in the Wood is that it has it all, crime, family drama, bits of romance and bucket loads of tension.
Fifteen-year-old Maisy Mitcham and her twin brother Duncan lose their mother to an asylum one night in 1960. The twins are sent to their grandmother's country house, Nightingales. Cold and distant, she leaves them to their own devices, to explore and to grow. That is until the day Duncan doesn't come home fro
The Book Review Café
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
All my reviews can be found at

I’ve always been a huge fan of Lesley Pearse’s writing and over the years I’ve read every book of hers if you include The Woman In The Wood that makes twenty five books. You would think after writing so many books the author would be running out of fresh ideas and characters, but no her novels continue to be original in content and compelling. I think this is definitely the darkest book due to the subject matter, but it is now firmly one
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Lesley Pearse is one of the UK's best-loved novelists with fans across the globe and sales of over 2 million copies of her books to date. A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines that keep the reader hooked from beginning to end, Pearse introduces you to characters that it is impossible not to care about or forget. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre. Whether cri ...more

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