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The Secret of Nightingale Wood

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4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,713 ratings  ·  408 reviews
A beautifully tangled story of friendship, fairy tales, and family secrets. For those who loved Pax and The War That Saved My Life. 1919. Mama is ill. Father has taken a job abroad. Nanny Jane is too busy to pay any attention to Henrietta and the things she sees -- or thinks she sees -- in the shadows of their new home, Hope House.All alone, with only stories for company, ...more
Audiobook
Published November 1st 2017 by Scholastic (first published October 6th 2016)
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,713 ratings  ·  408 reviews


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Hilary
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers who enjoy children's classics
I wasn't expecting this recently written book to have captured the feel of a childrens classic of the last century so well. This book is beautifully written, it reminded me of The Railway Children and some other classics. Henrietta is 12yrs old and the year is 1919. Her family has moved out of London to try to rebuild their lives after the death of her brother. The family struggles, they are each isolated in their private grief.

Some of the middle part of the book involving the mother's treatment
...more
Emma Carroll
Nov 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness! What a tender, exquisite gem of a book. Such wonderful writing and characterisation, with deft, assured handling of complex emotional issues. This may well be my favourite MG book of 2016. Fabulous.
Ashlula
Dec 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
This is the first audiobook I was able to finish reading/listening. The author does such a great job narrating it, her voice and accent and the way she makes her characters alive with these, is just marvellous.

The story is about a little girl `Henry` whose family was torn apart by a tragedy. Although she is only 12 years old she has great courage and more wisdom then any adult around her. This is a grim mystery that proceeds like the sundown and night fall and the only light we see is our littl
...more
Dana Al-Basha دانة الباشا
My copy is so cute, the illustrations inside are fabulous! Each chapter has a tiny illustration, in any case now that I'm done with this book I feel it's not suitable for young children, it's beautifully written, it's a sad story about family, mental illness, loss, grief, war, hope, childhood, and books.



My main issue with the book comes in two parts: first, the author depended a LOT on other books to tell her story, I personally find that a bit weak. Secondly: I don't get foreigners/white people
...more
Mary
Oct 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heavens above, what a book!

This has been so beautifully crafted, it sings. Touching on such enormous subjects as grief, mental health, shell-shock, loneliness, and fear, it still manages to flow into your bloodstream in the most amazing way. The characters are intricately drawn: Henry with her day dreaming and books, and her power love for her family, that holds the story together; Piglet, the wonderfully perfect nick-name for her baby sister, who you just know is going to grow into a power-hous
...more
Mathew
Such an impressive first novel. The Secret of Nightingale Wood is a tale of two halves for me. The first involves Henry moving into her new home in order for her family to cope with the mysterious loss of her older brother and the second half, much pacier and painfully tense, involves Henry having the save someone close to her. Wrapped within a quilted intertext based on rich children's literature around the dawn of the 20th century (as well as well before) Strange is so smart in her craft here. ...more
Laura
Wow! I can't believe this is juvenile fiction. And a first book for Lucy Strange. Quite an accomplishment.

This one was creepy, magical and heartwarming, and more than a little disturbing in parts. It takes place in 1919 in rural England. Henrietta (12 yo) and her family have just moved to the country from London after the loss of her older brother and the birth of her baby sister. Her mom isn't dealing with his loss well.

The book is about Hen and her quest to bring her family back together and
...more
Beth Bonini
This is a children's book suitable for all ages, but probably best appreciated by adults who are still love with their childhood favourites: The Secret Garden, A Little Princess, The Wind in the Willows, Alice in Wonderland and fairy tales of all descriptions. Author Lucy Strange deliberately borrows some of the tropes from the best-loved classics, but fashions them into something original. Set just after World War I, the story explores madness and loss - and the sometimes fine line between fant ...more
Julia
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 00-standalone, 2018
Der Gesang der Nachtigall schien vor dem Lesen ein sehr geheimnisvolles Buch zu sein und ich wusste nicht so recht, auf was ich mich da letztendlich einlassen sollte. Doch direkt mit der ersten Seite waren alle meine Sorgen und Bedenken vergessen, denn die zuckersüße Henry bezauberte mich direkt mit ihrer herzlichen und direkten Art. Sie war so ein kluges Kind und obwohl ihr Denken manchmal sehr erwachsen schien, vergaß man doch nie, dass sie eigentlich erst ein kleines Mädchen ist.

Das Buch spie
...more
Kate Ormand
It's 1919 and Henrietta's family have just moved from London to the countryside following the death of Henry's brother. The family has never recovered from their loss and Hope House is a place for them to heal, but it's a big change for twelve-year-old Henry, with its secret doors, dark woods, and new faces. As people interfere in her family's lives, the more worried Henry becomes for their future together. And as truths surface and hope fades, Henry feels alone. She realises she must do somethi ...more
Donna Irwin
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book. This was Children's book of the month in Waterstones but it really is a classic for adults too, especially one who has dealt recently with grief. Henry is the most wonderful heroine and through her eyes we see the effect of loss, grief, mental health issues and the impact of WW1. We also see the power of love and determination. The writing was sublime and the references to the children's classics which Henry reads made it just perfect. "Grief is just amputated love" is a p ...more
Mortisha Cassavetes
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
This book was very heart touching. It follows a 12 yr old, Henrietta better known as Henry, and her family dealing with the death of her older brother. Set in 1919 London, the family's home burns and the son Robert dies in the fire. The family then moves to the countryside to heal. The story goes into how each of the family member is coping with things mentally and how the era in which this story was set in affected the family and treatments. I am not going to go much more into the story as to n ...more
Jess
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another 3.5 ⭐ read for me. I enjoyed the book and it was a quick read, but there was nothing which particularly pulled me into the story and I thought the book was problematic in places. That said, I thought the topic matter was an important one and I can see future books by this author having great potential. ...more
Adeeb
May 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Adeeb by: BookishDubai
I enjoyed the beginning for it gothic vibes. Suddenly, it went downhill and was too repetitive.
Helen Costello
I'm veering between a 3 and a 4 star read for this one. I'm not a huge fan of reading middle grade stories - I do like to feel slightly challenged by a book and sadly felt a little empty after reading this. Having said that,I think this would be a challenging read for kids of that age - I kept finding myself wondering whether I would recommend it to my girls. The themes of grief, mental health and war related injuries are quite tough going.

Hen (Henrietta) moves to a new home with her family. A
...more
Jessica Shelley
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, 2019
So so so beautiful. After I turned the last page, I clutched the book to my chest. I cried tears of connection and joy and grief. The writing was lush and atmospheric. It told like a tale in the style of (and references too) Alice in Wonderland, Anne of Green Gables, The Secret Garden and reminded me a little of Kate Forsyth's The Wild Girl. (All favourites of mine.) I borrowed this from the library. But will be buying a copy and highlighting it from page to page. A classic and fairytale in its ...more
Penny
3.5

#10. An author's debut book (their first book to be published)
Pallavi Sharma
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, children
****5.0****
Review Soon
Jessica Lyn
What a tender moving story. It was quite interesting to see how mental illness was perceived in the 19th century. How different now in modern society!

This story was poetic and elegant and rich with imagery and enotion. I thoroughly enjoyed how it made odes to lovable children's classics. It is hard to believe that this is Strange's debut. It's like she's been writing for years.
Krissy
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written with wonderfully vivid characters. The main character Henry has had to deal with a lot in her 12 short years. That age can hold many frustrations, inconveniences, and confusion. It is an age where one is caught between child and teenager.
This story depicts the atrocities that women faced in the early 20th century. When mental illnesses such as PTSD and post-partum depression were yet to be named and "treatment" could range from scalding hot baths to lobotomies. Women were se
...more
Megan C.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Calling all middle grade readers!  (Or friends/parents/librarians/buddies of middle grade readers. 😊)  I recently received The Secret of Nightingale Wood from Scholastic and Chicken House Press and I could not have loved it more!  Middle grade books have to work hard to impress me.  Their themes and stories may be geared toward a younger set of the population, but that doesn’t mean I give them a pass on plot, pacing, authentic characters, or engaging storylines.  In fact, I think the best middle ...more
Peter
Dec 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
A fabulously suspensful, gothic-y middle grade story, beautifully written. I sped through it on the edge of my seat, willing on the bookish heroine Henry as she tries to save her family from being pulled apart by grief and the ill meaning Dr Hardy.
Carmen Liffengren
4.5 Stars

What a wonderful place the world would be, Hen, if everyone had your imagination.

What a magnificent debut from Lucy Strange! The Secret of Nightingale Wood is so evocative of all my formative reading that I found myself falling back through time to when I first discovered The Secret Garden and A Little Princess. It's Gothic vibes echo Jane Eyre in the atmospheric elements of Nightingale Wood and it is all charged with a haunting preternatural beauty. When Henry discovers the concealed d
...more
Shuhada Ramli
Jun 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It’s a compelling story and I wasn’t able to put it down. I am continuously rereading the interesting part and some of the nicest quotes. Each plot triggers various questions and the answers came later. It’s all about grief. What I admire the most is the way the author put every feeling and griefs. The way she describes motherhood, lost and tragedy. I would grab a physical copy if I could find it. It is worth reading.
Carla Dominguez
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful ❣
Aliaq8
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rated-4
Beautifully written story.
Linda
Aug 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author/narrator Lucy Strange was phenomenal. LOVE her voice.
Suze Lavender
Jan 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's 1919 and Henry's life has changed drastically. After the death of her brother she and her family moved to the countryside, but being there doesn't help them heal. Soon her father makes himself scarce by finding work elsewhere and Henry's mother is being consumed by grief. A local doctor knows exactly how to treat her, but with nobody to watch over her there's no way of telling if his methods are actually good or bad. Henry has her little sister to look after, but often she is lonely and tri ...more
Luna
Oct 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk-authors
I’m not quite sure of the exact moment I knew that I would adore The Secret of Nightingale Wood but it was very early on in the book. Probably after I had read the first few pages got to know Henry, who is exactly the kind of friend I would want. Anybody who loves books (especially fairy tales) that much is someone worth knowing.

Henry’s is haunted by grief and yet there is so much potential for hope. With Henry’s love for literature and her imagination we are treated to a story that whispers of
...more
Clay
Nov 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a terrific book! Deep, atmospheric, beautifully written WWI historical about thoughtful 12YO Henry (Henrietta) and grief-stricken and war-scarred families and how they heal. Highly recommended.
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