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The Light Between Worlds

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Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.

When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.

Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.

Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

Content warnings are available via the author's website: https://www.lauraeweymouth.com/books

416 pages, Paperback

First published October 23, 2018

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About the author

Laura E. Weymouth

5 books629 followers
Laura Weymouth is a Canadian living in America, and the sixth consecutive generation of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born and raised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods in western New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, and an ever-expanding menagerie of animal friends.

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5 stars
1,110 (27%)
4 stars
1,360 (33%)
3 stars
1,024 (25%)
2 stars
385 (9%)
1 star
125 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,128 reviews
Profile Image for Hailey (Hailey in Bookland).
611 reviews87.5k followers
February 12, 2021
This was not at all what I was expecting and unfortunately that worked out in a negative way for me. The story was so bleak and depressing, and I understand why but it just made it super hard to read. The concept is intriguing but the execution was lacklustre and bland. Maybe part of it was that it was a totally different book than I’d thought it would be, but I found it so hard to connect with anything. It hit one note and that was it. Partially I wasn’t a fan of the jumping between fantasy and present historical time, I felt like it made it so it took forever for me to kind of get any grasp on things. The main character of the first portion has no grounding and that made it so I felt like I didn’t either which didn’t make for a pleasant reading experience. I just felt disconnected. Once we got to the second sister I just kind of wanted to get through it even though that was when the plot actually started to get going. Honestly I was just quite let down by this one unfortunately.

Do be aware this story deals heavily with depression and suicide, including self harm.
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
696 reviews1,074 followers
July 13, 2020
Beautiful and sad all at the same time.

“I think it’s very easy to find yourself living a life full of regret…and that you should always make the courageous decision, even when doing so seems hard.”

I picked this one up mainly because of the Narnia-like vibes it gives off. Another reviewer said that it reads like Narnia fan-fiction, which I would say I agree with, and that definitely isn’t a bad thing!

The chapters alternate between the past – where siblings Jamie, Philippa and Evelyn have been transported to a magical world known as ‘The Woodlands’ where animals speak, trees are alive and the entire realm is ruled over by Cervus, a powerful and peaceful stag. This is a world on the brink of war, and the children become swept up, and stay there for 4 years.

The other chapters are the present. When the 3 children have returned from The Woodlands and are adjusting to their old life, set during WW2.

Adapting is a lot harder for Evelyn than her siblings. She doesn’t fit in our world, she feels lost and isolated – dragged away from the one place she felt home, like herself.
Don’t be fooled by the pretty cover – this book involves levels of depression, and coping (or lack of). Please bear this in mind before picking it up, there are some pretty dark chapters.

This was a different approach to the ‘other worlds’ trope. We get to see what happens once the adventure is over, and how some will struggle a lot more leaving it behind.


Some serious Narnia vibes going on.... lets see how this one is
Profile Image for megs_bookrack.
1,538 reviews9,831 followers
April 2, 2023
The Light Between Worlds ended up being a much more emotionally powerful story than I initially anticipated. There's a lot to unpack after reading this.

If you're going into it expecting a light YA portal Fantasy, like I was, you're in for a surprise. This is a deep dive into codependency, mental health, guilt and trauma. Prepare.

Broken into two distinct sections, this book follows sisters, Evelyn and Phillipa, and their complex, codependent relationship.

Set in the early-1940s, the girls, along with their brother, Jamie, cowered in a London bomb shelter during a ferocious WWII air raid.

Somehow, during that time, they are able to flee the shelter through a portal into a fantasy world known only as the Woodlands.

They remain in this new world for five years, living among the creatures of myth and legend. Ultimately, the siblings return to their world, and discover no time has passed.

While Jamie and Phillipa are ready to be back, Evelyn, finds it close to impossible to adjust to regular life.

Every day is a struggle for her. All she wants is to return to the Woodlands, which she considers her true home.

The first half of the book follows Evelyn's perspective exclusively. We get present day portions, as well as various flashbacks to their time in the Woodlands.

Through Evelyn, we learn more about her sister, Phillipa, who has since moved to America for University.

Evelyn is clearly struggling with Phillipa's departure. She's like a boat set adrift.

She spends a lot of her time at her private school, Saint Agatha's, exploring the woods on her own, hoping to find the portal to return to the Woodlands.

During Evelyn's portion of the book, I developed one opinion on who Phillipa was as a character. I had the impression that Phillipa was meek and mild, that she was scared to live in the Woodlands and that by going to America, she was running away.

Then the second half of the book is told solely from Phillipa's point of view. It provided a true perspective shift.

It surprised me how much my opinion on everything changed. What I thought I knew was flipped on its head completely.

The first half of the book seems choppy and random, although beautifully written, I found it a little disjointed and confusing. However, upon reflection,

As we meet Phillipa, we discover she is bold and steady. Not at all how I expected.

When at school, Phillipa hears word that her brother, Jamie, is on the phone for her, she knows it will not be good news. She has been so worried about Evelyn, having cut herself off from her, and indeed, the news does concern Evelyn.

It appears she has gone missing and Phillipa must return to aid in the search.

Y'all, this is a heart-breaking story. Once it starts to evolve, it's so compelling. I couldn't put it down once I figured out where it was going and what it was really about.

Please read the content warnings at the bottom of the synopsis prior to picking this up. It certainly was much deeper, and more intricate, than I ever would have guessed in regards to trauma, PTSD, depression, and suicidal ideation.

I felt the relationship between Evelyn and Phillipa was incredibly crafted. Their codependent relationship was one of the best I have ever read. It definitely reminded me mildly of The Wicker King. If you enjoyed that book, you would probably also really enjoy this.

This is one of those books that the longer I sit with it, the more I gain an appreciation for how well-written it actually is. Weymouth made some very clever choices with how she told this story.

The Light Between Worlds is so much more than your run of the mill, YA Fantasy, so if you like stories with a bit of depth and real world bite, you should absolutely give this one a go.

Just keep in mind, though the writing is beautiful, this story is very heavy. You have been warned.

Profile Image for Korrina  (OwlCrate).
193 reviews4,557 followers
June 15, 2018
A picked this book up on a total whim and absolutely loved it. The writing was fantastic, and the story made my heart ache in the best way.
Profile Image for Hamad.
1,012 reviews1,332 followers
October 26, 2018
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

Actual rating: 3.5 stars

“A Woodlands heart always find its way home”

🌟 The moment I set my eyes on this cover I knew I was going to read this book. It has one of the best covers ever. I wanted the inside to match the outside, well it happened but to a certain degree.

🌟 Let’s just say that the first thing that caught my attention was the writing style, Laura is a very good writer and for those who like poetical writing then this book is for you, it literally even had many verses of poem. The prose flowed easily which made this quite fast to read despite it being a bit heavy kind of book.

🌟 The Edelweiss page says that this book genre is Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Wizards & Witches, but I actually disagree. I thought it was going to be like that which makes you think it will be action packed with wars and tactics and stuff but nope! I can’t find one genre to put this into as it was a mix of Magic realism/ fantasy/ contemporary and historical fiction. So think of this more as a quiet book rather than a fast action packed one.

🌟 This was also a bit confusing at first because it jumps between the real world and the Woodsland world. between past and present and between Evelyn and Philippa. But after a few chapters I got the hang of things and that wasn’t really a problem.

🌟 I saw mixed reviews about this when comparing it to Narnia, some said that is a must for fans of Narnia and some said that it is a big No for those fans. I say try it and have your own opinion. I never watched Narnia (I know!!) so I can’t judge but there are similarities as jumping into a different world where time flows different form our world. So the characters grow in Woodlands for a few years and then they go back to the real world as young children. I found this idea a cool one and so if you like it give this a chance.

🌟 It is also more of a character driven book that deals with families, wars and sisterhood. I expected it to be like HP kind of book with more magic and creatures and adventures and that never happened. That actually affected my rating.

“If it’s your heart that fails you, we’ll teach your hands what to do. Then they will act before your heart can stop them”

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Melissa.
Author 10 books4,284 followers
July 3, 2018
A yearning, achingly lovely take on what happens when you find your way free of your own world and into one that suits you better--then are forced back home again. This is a book for anyone who dreamed of being Lucy Pevensie or broke their heart over poor Susan, with the mystical, lonesome feeling of a clearing happened upon in the woods.
Profile Image for Chelsea.
316 reviews2,766 followers
September 7, 2019
This is one of those books where I’m trying not to factor in the “enjoyment” factor when rating this. The writing itself is 5 star worthy. It’s extremely poetic prose but instead of being light and flowy, it’s heavy and introspective. This entire story is a love letter to depression in a painfully beautiful voice.

While this has notes of portal fantasy like Every Heart A Doorway does, it explores the depressive thoughts of those children kicked out of their fantasy worlds even more than that one. To be honest, this book is bleak. It’s wrapped up in a pretty cover and lyrical writing but at its core it’s war, depression, missed connections, and nostalgia.

So keep in mind that this is 4 star read strictly because of the message it gets across in such a painfully fantastical way, not for it being an enjoyable book. Not all stories are supposed to be that. So mission accomplished. My heart hurts. Time for some chocolate and puppies.
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
596 reviews816 followers
June 6, 2020
This was such a poignant read, I'm stunned by Weymouth's expert skill at manipulating what we perceive as reality and fiction.

Not only was I wholly immersed in this novel--in the rich worlds of the Woodlands and wartime London--I was also invested in the characters' stories and wanted to see them succeed.

Let me backtrack.

Weymouth definitely blew my expectations away with her debut, and I definitely already had decently high expectations.

Yet, there was so much meaning and subtext within this novel, and all I really want to do is reread and reanalyze the whole thing. I mean, everything is so subtle, and although this looks like a really loud clashing action-y fantasy--or at least, it could be--it's definitely not that type of story.

If anything, I would classify The Light Between Worlds as a character story, and full of self-rumination and the aftermath of an event. Sure, the sisters' time in the Woodlands is important, but ultimately the focus of this story would be on the sisters moving on, not them spending time at the Woodlands.

It's more of a "what now?" sort of book, and I love how this new style of "after" books is emerging, because ultimately, all of us will relate to the after more than the clashing action and heroism.

Evelyn is so natural and definitely has her heart in another world, while Philippa will ground herself wherever she is, which is what I find to be a really great juxtaposition between the sisters that worked. They highlight each others' flaws, and even their own stories sort of mimic each other in subtle ways.

And I loved reading the flashbacks to the Woodlands--those provided enough magic and intrigue and mystery that I wanted to keep reading, and finding out what devastated Evelyn and made her so un-whole is a big part of why I kept reading. The Woodlands is magical and mysterious and very different from our world, yet so very similar to wartime throughout history, as war is devastating no matter what realm it's from.

Why 4.5 when I enjoyed it so much? Honestly, I feel like it's because Philippa's part felt too short for me. Going into this book, I definitely had my doubts about its one sister, then the other sister format, and I do think some of my fears came true in the way that I related to Evelyn and her story a lot more than Philippa's.

Although I can devise no other way to change the format without making the Woodlands chapters more awkward, I still wanted something more to link Philippa and Evelyn's story and the transition between them. Something more that made me equally invested in Philippa's personal journey.

And my preference for Evelyn's chapters could have been because I just liked Evelyn more (although, emotionally I think I'm more like Philippa) but some parts of me think I was more invested in Evelyn than Philippa because of how Evelyn introduced the story and struggled a lot more visibly than Philippa did.

There's so much nuance and subtext in The Light Between Worlds, and it's really hard to describe the sort of lull it creates while you read this and sort of, soak and simmer in a pot of emotions. But I do have to say that it's a lull I enjoyed, and this debut fantasy definitely blew me away with its subtle meaning and underlying themes.

Definitely recommend for anyone looking for something a little more low-key and a little less in-your-face action.
Profile Image for Cindy.
Author 4 books317 followers
December 20, 2017
If you have loved Narnia, you MUST look this book up next fall. I don't even have words to describe how much I adored it; the lyrical, literary prose, the deeply flawed but eminently relatable characters, the utterly phenomenal premise. This book is like nostalgia incarnate, and not quite like anything I've ever read. ❤️❤️❤️ DEFINITELY read it.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
627 reviews302 followers
November 29, 2018
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library

I received a copy of this book from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Some people will see this as a loving homage to Narnia, with similar elements easily identified: Lucy, Susan and Peter are obviously Evelyn, Philippa, and Jamie, with Aslan recreated in Cervus the stag, and the Woodlands creatures shadows of Narnia natives.

Others will see it as a Narnia rip off.

For me, I like to think the author was so deeply inspired by Narnia and what happened after that this is almost an alt fanfiction. The similarities simply cannot be forgotten and unfortunately they pale somewhat in comparison - but then again, because we get to see from Evelyn and Philippa's point of view, it's also quite a modern YA take on a classic MG story, and it's an original story in its own right. It makes dealing with the aftermath of Narnia more intimate. Let's be clear: CS Lewis didn't like Susan, and that's why she couldn't go back to Narnia once she grew up and got interested in 'silly girly' things like makeup and boys. The Light Between Worlds treats growing up - an inevitability, despite what JM Barrie says about Peter Pan - very differently. Philippa wears lipstick and heels as a weapon.

But I really struggled with this book. It has a fantastic elevator pitch: 'What happens to the children after they return from Narnia' - bam! Sounds amazing.

But the execution of this highly sellable idea was severely lacking.

If you want to read a book where nothing much happens, and then Evie disappears, and then MORE nothing much happens, then you're in for a treat!

I found the lack of action very frustrating. I didn't so much mind that Evie gave us alternate chapters in the real world and in the Woodlands… except that what was going on in the real world was SO BORING. We followed Evie around in her pity party and I tell you, it was not a nice place to stay. Her behaviour was so odd, especially since she's very obviously depressed and no one gave a shit about mental illness in the 19050s. Everyone treated Evie like she's suffered some great loss, but no one would talk about it, they just let her mope about and walk in the rain with no shoes and do the school's gardening. But the thing I found was that ALL of the girls at Evie's school would have gone through some sort of trauma - they were all old enough to have experienced the war - but no one else was left a key so they could sneak out with the secret approval of a Literature professor. No one else was allowed to mope about in bed for days. No one else was allowed out to wander in the rain and off campus. Evie's pain obviously came from not being in the Woodlands, but other girls would have been experiencing a similar pain with the aftermath of a world war.

Or maybe they all did suffer as much as Evie, but we were being held at arm's length from her - not close enough to know what she was REALLY thinking, but not far enough back that we could objectively see how other characters suffered, too.

Basically the only reason I kept going was because I wanted to know if this was going to be a magical realism book or more of a drama: did Evie die or was her disappearance linked to the Woodlands again? So I kept reading, on to Philippa's section.

After trailing Evie and her non-action moping, I really wanted Philippa to take action. Instead, she comes home from America, falls into a job, and basically does nothing. No investigating, no questioning, no going through Evie's things. She visits the 'crime scene' at night during a gale, barely glances at it, and goes away again. She goes to the police not to help with the investigation, but to take the letters Evie sent her that she never read, and get abused by the detective just to make her feel more guilty. She travels a long way to barely question the last person who saw Evie, taking the blame off them and placing it firmly on herself. I wanted her to DO something. What was the point of coming home from America? She doesn't influence anything, the plot doesn't move forward because there's nothing to act upon or react against. She even says,

"I understand that it's foolish for me to expect to find anything, but I can't stop looking. I owe it to my sister, to ask all the questions, to turn over all the stones."

And I'm sitting there screaming because she hasn't done anything. She's asked maybe one or two people maybe one or two questions. She didn't really look where Evie disappeared. She didn't look anywhere else. She didn't really look at all, because she was too busy going to work in London and being sad.

This was a novel of inaction, and it really frustrated me.

But on the positive side, the sections devoted to the Woodlands were… basically rehashes of things we've already seen in The Chronicles of Narnia. I think the only reason we got such an in depth look at it was for the readers who haven't read Narnia… but then I wondered, is that who the target audience is? All of the obvious references to Narnia are there for us to recognise, but what if we don’t? Could this novel still be enjoyed by someone who hasn't read or doesn't love Narnia?

That's not up to me to decide.

For the record, I have read and did enjoy Narnia, but I don't think it's the pinnacle of children's literature.

Another positive was that there is disability recognition in this novel. There really should be, because it's set so soon after the war, and there were a lot of disabled vets in London.

The writing itself was fine enough, not really that memorable but nothing difficult or unfortunate to read. I did find it frustrating how confrontations fizzled out and went nowhere, and whenever we were building up to an interesting scene, it skipped over that part and ploughed on with more moping. There was a really huge deal out of some amazing big argument/throwdown Evie and Phil had that led to Phil moving to America... but it turned out to be a very gentle conversation.

Overall I can't feel like I can offer a suggestion on whether I think you'll like it or not. Even if you did like Narnia, you might find this too unoriginal. If you've never read Narnia, you might not feel the same kind of affection that I wanted to feel for this novel. Although it was reasonably enjoyable to read, I found it lacking in certain areas and I finished the book just kind of wanting more.
Profile Image for h o l l i s .
2,405 reviews1,853 followers
October 13, 2018
This book is achingly horribly painfully sad.

The pitch for THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS is basically what would life be like for children, grown into heroes or saviours in another world, to come home (ie, post-Narnia). Or to what was once home. I'm not sure exactly what I expected from such a plot, and of course I didn't read the synopsis before diving in, but I was totally unprepared for this experience. In a good and a bad way.

Weymouth's writing is stunning and I want more from this author; that is without question. However I found the first hundred pages of this story incredibly slow, even boring, and then the rest just.. hurts. This story is painful. It's about overpowering loss and grief and longing set post-WWII, which is already kind of gloomy, and I'm just.. well, feeling pretty depressed. There is so little hope in this story, which is less about their adventures and more about an emotional journey for two sisters -- one of whom moves on and the other who only wants to return -- and I basically read half of this book choking back tears and emotion and agony. So, you know, if that isn't your idea of a good time this might not be the book for you.

Despite the slow start it isn't dull it's just lacking in any real happiness. Which I suppose is supposed to be the mood. And also why I'm not rating it. Again, this is beautifully written and the talent of the author is very present but holy god I don't want to put myself through this again.

** I received an ARC from the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **
Profile Image for Lenore ..
Author 2 books62 followers
July 10, 2018

Have you read The Chronicles of Narnia or watched The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe? If yes, don't come anywhere near this book. Reread or rewatch Narnia instead. You'll be getting the better execution of the exact same premise.

There isn't an ounce of originality in The Light Between Worlds. It's practically a recycled version of Narnia, minus Edmund:
✔️ four three children are swept away to a magical medieval land through a wardrobe bunker;
✔️ the godlike lion Aslan deer Cervus serves as their spiritual mentor;
✔️ the magical land is threatened by an evil tyrant who the children should help defeat;
✔️ little sister Lucy Evelyn befriends the supernatural creatures and feels more at home in their world;
✔️ big sister Susan Philippa turns her back on the magical land once the children are back in our world.

And as if these similarities aren't enough to appall any Narnia fan, little to nothing happens in the first 25%. The storyline follows the children's arrival in the magical land and Evelyn's 24-hour mental pity party five years after their return simultaneously. The flashbacks are predictable because you're witnessing a less exciting version of Narnia which barely scratches the surface of the fantasy classic. The "after" chapters are boring because of how mundane they are. Evelyn goes to boarding school. Evelyn reads poetry. Evelyn takes a walk in the woods. Evelyn pulls weeds. Evelyn makes a phone call. There are a million amazing things you can do with the "after Narnia" premise, and this book throws every opportunity for adventure and excitement out the window. The occasionally striking writing is the only thing keeping The Light Between Worlds from a 1 star rating.

I wasn't aware that you could write a bland Narnia, but I guess I stand corrected. DNF at 25%.

More of my reviews can be found on my blog, Valley of the Books.
Profile Image for Dani ❤️ Perspective of a Writer.
1,512 reviews5 followers
October 20, 2018
Check out more reviews @ Perspective of a Writer...

5 years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge. When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves. When Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from.

The short review...

The setup of The Light Between Worlds is quite fascinating... We start with Evelyn and go back and forth between the present and the past back in the Woodlands. In this way we learn of her present heartache and come to understand the situation that lead to her deep mourning. Meeting Tom is the best thing for the reader as he's a bright bit of sunshine in Evelyn's unique position. Evelyn's side of the story isn't all there is though ... we also learn about Philippa, Evelyn's older sister, who contributes in a big way to Evelyn's predicament. As these two sisters deal with the past and make decisions in the present we come to see the love and bond between two sisters is one of the most powerful in the world.

You may have heard rumors than The Light Between Worlds is a Narnia knock off... Disabuse yourself of this idea now. Whether you are a total Narnia fan or a Narnia anti-fan or even totally don't know what Narnia is... it doesn't matter a bit. The Woodlands may be vaguely familiar to you and you probably will recognize the fantasy, fae creatures, war combination but the story has little to do with it. We aren't going on an adventure and even though there are a couple of charged scenes in the Woodlands we aren't going to war... in London or a fantasy realm, no, it's a battle of the heart. It will shred you, for both girls have to deal with the aftermath of the Woodlands.

Cover & Title grade -> A-

At first I was totally mystified by this cover! I wondered why readers thought it was so gorgeous as to want to read the book based solely on the design... All I saw was a silvery cover with some kind of chrome effect and odd spiked horn things. Hahahha. Then my writing partner said, oh wow that's a gorgeous cover... *crickets* What in the world was she talking about?! Where was my critical and discerning best friend's good sense?! Then seeing my puzzled and horrified look she said... You know the buck's head in the winter landscape... HUH?!

So I took another look and finally saw what other readers saw, lol. I do think its gorgeous now that I've seen it. From the digital version its a lot harder to see the beauty and I can totally see others making my mistake. So a slightly lowered rating. I find the title totally spot on though. It fits the story only too well... though I'd like to see the title in gold foil since it is a story about light after all.

Why did I enjoy The Light Between Worlds even though its reminiscent of Narnia?

-This is a post fantasy world experience.
With Narnia's story we get a group of kids finding their way to Narnia and experiencing an adventure that totally eclipses their current life. With this story the kids have gone to the Woodlands and come home again... then the story starts. We are only told about the Woodlands in alternating chapters that are basically extended flashbacks. The Woodlands could represent ANY fantasy world and is used as a commentary to explore the idea of where we belong.

What this does is, instead of being an adventure story, makes the entire experience one of longing, desire, heartache and regret. It makes us poignantly wonder what if we got to experience a new world? Whatever new world doesn't matter, but one that we feel we belong in more that our own. Would we also feel as Evelyn did?

-Explores the value of love vs. belonging.
Evelyn makes it know right from the beginning how she feels about the Woodlands. We can't refute it or challenge it. Everything about Evelyn is about her feelings concerning the Woodlands. What is challenged is her love for her family and her love for a boy she falls for in the present. Most of us love our family, but is that love more important than who we are and what makes us happiest?

I really, really loved Tom. I felt like he was a tethering source for Evelyn to the present, AS WELL AS Evelyn's sister and brother. The question is should love limit us? We can totally relate this to choosing for ourselves when it comes to almost anything... should our family and lover dictate our sexuality, career, lifestyle, friends? Evelyn experienced the same kind of struggle, one every human being on the planet can relate to in some fashion.

-A love poem to the power of sisterhood.
Evelyn totally falls for this friend of her brother's in the most beautiful and natural love story that I have ever read... but what is keeping her in the present isn't the distraction that this boy provides. It's her sister. It's this marvelous older sister that Evelyn has looked up to her entire life. This young woman, Philippa, is who Evelyn looks to, sacrifices for and loves beyond reason. And they have totally opposite views about the Woodlands.

The use of poetry is one that many readers will identify with. It's how Evelyn communicates her feelings to the sister she loves. Even if we, like Philippa can't see what enthralls Evenlyn about the Woodlands we can understand and relate to the emotions it stirs in her through the poetry.

As a Writer...

I talk about heavy prose whenever I read a book where I feel like I'm slogging through too many words and a purple prose type of narrative. It's hard to communicate to other readers why the writing is too much. Well this is a perfect example of purple prose done right!! Laura Weymouth's writing is light, but emotional, with none of the purple prose heaviness, but with so much showing, so gorgeous!

Her prose is so good, so emotion stirring that when I got to Philippa's part of the story I had to keep reading. Up to this point I wasn't that into Philippa... she felt like an overbearing older sister to me. I didn’t want to read her part, I didn't care to know her excuses for what she did to Evelyn... what could this half possibly be about?! But as i started Philippa's story I was blown away by what Laura Weymouth stirred in me for the hated older sister... and I was sobbing by the end. In a good and happy way for the siblings.

Laura Weymouth is a debut author to watch!! The Light Between Worlds isn't another Narnia... its deeper and more beautiful than that... Instead of being an adventure story, its a love poem to the power of sisterhood, its an experience full of longing, desire, heartache, regret and finally love and letting go. The story truly is as gorgeous as its cover, its not only a must read, but its a must buy!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Authenticity
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building

Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.

You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...

Please like this review if you enjoyed it! *bow* *bow* It helps me out a ton!!
Profile Image for Lata.
3,609 reviews192 followers
February 25, 2019
I haven't read Seanan McGuire's "Wayward Children" series yet (I know, I know, I'm going to get to it!) I believe this book covers a little of the same ground, in that some children are taken to a magical land then are returned after some years. Laura Weymouth's two main characters and sisters Evelyn and Philippa, and their brother Jamie, are spirited away to the Woodlands by a stag called Cervus during an air raid and bombing during the second World War. Unfortunately, after they return, Evelyn cannot reconcile herself to living in our mundane world after her profound experiences in the Woodlands, and suffers through years of depression, and some self-harm, while she desperately hopes to return. Philippa, meanwhile, throws herself back into life, and eventually heads off to school overseas after trying repeatedly to prop up Evelyn. After Evelyn disappears, Philippa returns home to England, and begins dealing with her guilt over leaving Evie.
Laura Weymouth's portrait of Evie's depression is so well done. I found myself aching for Evie, while I also totally understood Philippa's guilt and her need to help Evie, but to also escape her younger sister's despair.
The Woodlands is pretty much Narnia but renamed, and I could understand Evie's desire to return to the only place where she felt alive and where things were wondrous. What I liked about this book was its portrait of depression both from the sufferer's side and from one living with someone with depression, and the hopelessness experienced on both sides.
Profile Image for Ellie.
575 reviews2,122 followers
March 3, 2020
This book is 50% girl searching for her way back home and 50% girl searching for her missing sister. It involves a lot of emotional and physical searching.

If you’re searching for a POW-wow-wow book, this isn’t it. It’s a quiet and character-heavy look at emotions and the repercussions of having to leave behind what you love, and I love the idea of it - because what does happen after the journey’s done and everyone is heroes? Do you just go home?

It was beautiful and simple novel that felt very quintessentially British (despite the American author) set in the 1950s during the after effects of WW2. The sisters return from the Woodlands; the soldiers return from war. It has heavy Narnia vibes, and a soldier with severe burns is one of the love interests and I adored this so much. It’s one of my favourite “quiet” character-based novels of the year (if that’s even a thing), but I know for a fact people will come to this book expecting something to happen the entire way through, for something to build up and explode, but it won’t happen, and that’ll leave them disappointed.
Profile Image for Shannon (It Starts At Midnight).
1,145 reviews1,010 followers
October 19, 2018
You can find the full review and all the fancy and/or randomness that accompanies it at It Starts at Midnight

This book... well it wasn't my favorite. It did get a wee bit better as it went along, at least? Idk, I am grasping at straws here, because I wanted so desperately to like it. And tons of people did, from what I can tell on Goodreads! So as always, opinions vary!

The Things I Liked:

•The sibling bond. The sibling story that the story was rooted in was great. They experienced a lot together, and they then had to navigate their relationships back in the "real" world. It felt really honest that they were so tight-knit, but then drifted apart after they all went through such a huge, life changing experience.

•The time period/setting. I am an absolute sucker for a historical fiction, plus the English countryside is just fabulous! The author also did a really great job of nailing the time period and atmosphere of the setting- it felt very authentic.

•The writing was lovely. I will absolutely try the author again, because her prose was downright lovely.

•When the story reaches Phillipa's POV, it picks up a tad. I cared much more for Phillipa's point of view than Evelyn's. While I felt a sadness and sympathy for Evelyn, I had a much easier time connecting with Phillipa's story.

The Things I Didn't:

•Honestly? The biggest thing was that I was just really, really boredIt's such a hard thing to explain with any sort of eloquence, I'm afraid. The story started out slowly, for sure. And that isn't even always a problem for me. I think that when the slowness combined with a character that I just couldn't find myself caring too much for (Evelyn), it lead to me having a hard time staying invested. Even by the time Phillipa came along, I was really only marginally more invested. There was just so much repetition: Evelyn is sad. Phillipa feels bad about leaving Evelyn. And over and over and over.

•Evelyn felt annoyingly one-dimensional. Honestly, the only thing I knew about her was "misses Narnia the Woodlands". To be honest, I have no idea why she missed it even. (I'll go into that in the next bullet point.) After her millionth time brooding about how much she hated the real world I just... didn't care anymore. Also, while I liked the character of her romantic interest, it really pissed me off that he was repeatedly described as "tethering me to the world".  Look, I know she's probably experiencing some legit mental illness here, but she has family and friends who love her, but only a dude can help? Hard pass.

•The Woodlands is just... I don't get the appeal? Guys, this world seems awful. Lots of fighting and killing and messiness. I get that they'd come from WWII era London but like. Is Narnia really any better? We did get some flashbacks of the siblings' time in the Woodlands, but it really didn't convince me at all. I couldn't get a decent picture in my head of this place; it seemed a little generic-fantasy to me. And a pretty brutal place to spend your formidable years, tbh.

•Pretty healthy dose of Parent-In-YA-Syndrome. There is finally some discussion about the parents being MIA, but if you ask me, it's too little too late. Especially because their "reasons" were crappy at best. Harmful, obviously, at worst.

Bottom Line: While I didn't love the story itself, it certainly had some positive points. And lots of people did love it, so check those out too of course!
Profile Image for Charlotte Kersten.
Author 3 books433 followers
November 4, 2022
���A Woodlands heart always finds its way home.”

CW: self-harm, discussions of suicide, suicidal ideation, disordered eating

So What’s It About?

Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.

When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.

Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.

Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.

But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.

What I Thought

This was introduced to me as "a Narnia fanfic about trauma." That reduces things down quite a bit, but there might just be a bit of truth to it, too. I definitely liked some things about this, but a few other elements dragged it down, particularly the ending.

One of the strongest elements is the relationship between Phil and Ev, especially how it shows that their codependence does neither of them any good. Phil blames herself for so many things while she totally absolves Tom; she holds herself totally accountable for her sister’s fate without acknowledging that Ev has autonomy too. At the same time, Ev simply does not understand how much her sister does for her while thinking that she drove her away.

Evelyn bounces back and forth between trying to settle into life in England and despairing/totally giving up in a way that feels like a genuine depiction of someone having good days and bad days in their struggle with grief and depression. That being said, I did feel that both Ev and Phil felt fairly one-note in their struggles and I didn’t get a strong sense of who they are outside of those struggles - yes, we know that Evelyn’s heart belongs in the Woodlands and Philippa feels responsible for her while hiding behind a facade of control and put-togetherness! It’s perfectly fine for a book to be very slow and introspective, but I think ideally a book like that should have lots more depth to the characterization and less mere repetition.

The little romance plots with vaguely nice and ceaselessly patient men didn’t really do anything for me and don’t change much for the characters either. My other main critique besides everything about the ending is that the idea of the Woodlands being a safe haven from World War II is totally undercut by the way that war is either brewing or actually happening while they are there. The kids have to do horrible things like kill people and barter their lives in marriage…this is totally subjective but it never quite made sense to me as an analogy for their security from the traumas of WWII because of this.

My biggest issue by far was the ending, though. I think it would be much stronger altogether if and it all just feels so incredibly…simplistic and pat after what this book is meant to be a complex exploration of grief and loss and the complexities of struggle. It just felt extremely cheap to me.
Profile Image for A Book Shrew.
596 reviews133 followers
May 19, 2021
How dare someone think to write this! I mean ... this was just ... COMPLETELY, UTTERLY AND IRREVOCABLY DEVASTATING!!!

Full review at A Book Shrew

First, let me start off by saying I had ridiculously high expectations for this book. Ever since the deal was announced, say a year and a half ago, I have kept an eye on every single update. The title change, the cover reveal which then changed as well (to a masterpiece, I might add), when ARCs went out, etc. The author even followed me back on Twitter a little while ago and I lost my s**t. In other words, I have waited a long time to read this book. Yes, I could very well have set myself up for failure, but this piece of perfection met every single one of my lofty expectations and left me a puddle of distraught despair.

Second, do not go into this expecting to get a rip-off of Narnia. Rather consider it the sequel to the Pevensie (in this case Hapwell) children's adventures you never got. This novel tackles all the implications and consequences of growing up, of finding who you are in a magical world, only to be thrown unceremoniously back into your original, boring world and having to start all over again. And let me tell you yet again that this was devastating! I did not expect how broken my heart would be over this. It is completely realistic and believable, which makes it all my sob-worthy.

Speaking of the Hapwell siblings, prepare to become far too attached to them. The book is told in dual POV, and I really enjoyed the format. The first half is told from the youngest Hapwell, Evelyn's POV almost six years after their return from The Woodlands. In between this, there are flashbacks that take us through the Hapwell siblings' time in this magical world. Evelyn was eleven when she first crossed between worlds, and it was her call that brought them to The Woodlands. Growing up in the midst of WWII in England, she and her siblings were shunted back and forth between school and other peoples' homes for safety. Naturally, she was never able to put down roots to call somewhere home until The Woodlands. Her chapters follow her as she struggles to find her place in England, but all she wants is to go back home. The second half is told from Evelyn's older sister, Philippa, with the flashbacks showing how life was in the five years since they returned home. While Evelyn can only think of The Woodlands, Philippa can only think of her sister's well-being. Jamie, the oldest brother, pops up between each sibling, but it's clear he is at a loss of what to do for either sister. In short, THIS BOOK WILL CRUSH YOUR SOUL THROUGH THE HAPWELL CHILDREN.

Finally, I cannot end without exclaiming that Laura Weymouth's writing is beautiful. Usually, I never quite know when to apply the description of lyrical to a novel because of how ambiguous I find the term at times, but this hit it right on the head. It is lush and vivid, and Weymouth gets right down to nitty-gritty of each character with lovely prose. In considering how much the characters dwell on their situations, their fears and desires, Weymouth walks a very fine line and comes off at the end being victorious in avoiding sounding repetitive.

Overall, I cannot recommend this book enough. It is a fantasy standalone that I question if we ever needed it because it holds up to the light of day the consequences of the fantastic experiences so many of our beloved characters go through. We never see what happens after the day is won, the war is over, the world and loved ones are safe. There are parts of these characters that can never be the same, and while this was unbelievably destructive on my emotions, I cannot wait to read it again.

*September 28


I don't think you realize how excited I am to dive into this now. That display is lucky it's still in one piece.
Profile Image for Para (wanderer).
362 reviews195 followers
September 15, 2021
This is one of my favourite finds this year.

Have you ever wondered what happens to children violently thrown from portal fantasy worlds? Do you think Susan from Narnia deserved better? Are you looking for something quiet and melancholy? Did you wish the Wayward Children novellas were darker and longer? Then you should absolutely read it.
And we’re all a little frayed around the edges, aren’t we? It doesn’t surprise me and it doesn’t frighten me, finding out you’re only human like the rest of us.
Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell (and their brother Jamie) returned from the Woodlands to WWII England five years ago. Ever since then, things have been going badly. Evelyn never quite got over it, and spends her days depressed, grieving, desperately wishing to return. Philippa, meanwhile, went to study in America to escape, hiding behind a mask of perfection, not answering letters, secretly torn up with guilt over what happened. Until Evelyn disappears.

The book is split in two parts, the first half from Evelyn’s POV, the other from Philippa’s, both in first person, both interspersed with the occasional flashback. I really liked the structure. I was worried about the POV switch because ugh, change, but all worked out. And the prose is gorgeous.

The themes it deals with, especially when it comes to mental health, are quite heavy (see: content warnings). I’m not sure if I liked how some of the characters viewed Evelyn, their “eh, she’ll get over it” attitude, but I did like that in the case of both sisters there were so many characters who clearly cared about them, even if they didn’t know how to help.

I’ve seen The Light Between Worlds called a Narnia rip-off, but while I agree that it’s a clear homage, Narnia with serial numbers filed off, I don’t see how this is a drawback. The same elements are common to a lot of portal fantasy and post-portal fantasy – hell, comparing concepts, it’s more or less a less heavy-handed, less moralistic, darker, standalone version of Seanan McGuire’s Wayward Children. It’s the genre.

For me, it was perfect.

Enjoyment: 5/5
Execution: 5/5

Recommended to: anyone looking for something quiet and melancholic and beautifully written
Not recommended to: those who dislike slow-paced, heavily introspective books, also see content warnings

Content warnings: deals heavily and extensively with grief, trauma, guilt, self-harm, and suicide

More reviews on my blog, To Other Worlds.
Profile Image for London Shah.
Author 2 books197 followers
October 21, 2022
You don't even know how much you're going to love this book. Goodness, it's haunting in the most beautiful ways. Prepare to meet one of the most unforgettable MC's––I can't believe how much I connected with Ev. I still think about her. Such a beautifully written story with a heartbreaking premise, and an MC who will grab your heart and run away into the woodlands with it <3
Profile Image for Gaby (lookingatbooks).
435 reviews428 followers
Want to read
June 15, 2018
Update: I got an arc 🙆🏼‍♀️

May 5th, 2018

Someone said this is like Narnia....

I am so ready for this book to come out🙊
Profile Image for Brittany S..
1,497 reviews697 followers
January 5, 2020
Initial Impressions 8/19/18 & review posted on The Book Addict's Guide 7/25/19: 4.5 stars
What a beautiful book this was! THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS wasn't quite what I was expecting but it turned out to be even better. The focus was much more on the time after the fantasy world and how the three siblings had to deal with being back in the real world and it made for such an emotional story. I loved the characters and how real everything felt. The emotions really struck me and I connected with these characters so much.

The writing was positively gorgeous. It was a tad flowery at times which sort of took away from some of the beauty because it was so well-written that it didn't need to be over the top. Those quiet moments and emotional connections did the work so the overly flowery passages weren't necessary, but they still evoked emotion as well, even if they did become a bit distracting. I was easily swept away with this story and I had a hard time tearing myself out of this world.

I actually really appreciated that this book wasn't so much about the fantasy world that these children found but about how it changed them and the people they became. It wasn't about all of them needing the world and everyone took away something different from the experience. I loved the sibling connection and the other relationships in the book were positively perfect as well. Tom was easily the best character in the book and I loved him so much, and Philippa's Jack made for a wonderful addition as well. It's wonderful to see supporting characters doing just that -- supporting the leads for exactly who they are, despite heartbreak, secrets, stubbornness, and all the other things.

I actually didn't quite love the ending. It was quite fitting and I knew it was one of two possibilities but I still didn't love it. It also leaves a lot of questions left unanswered (like what will happen after the closing chapter), but it's also not necessary to address those questions because that would be another story entirely. I'm so glad I read this book and although it wasn't what my heart told me I was in the mood for when I picked it up, it founds its place quite fittingly.
Profile Image for mads.
359 reviews346 followers
December 17, 2020
“This is, after all, my own peculiar magic--whatever circumstances I find myself in, I always land on my feet.”

TW: depression, self-harm, ptsd, suicidal ideation, illness and disordered eating, loss of a loved one, and mentions of drowning.

It's been nearly ten days since I finished this book and my feelings are still really conflicted about it. There were parts of this book that were 5 star worthy and parts that barely deserved 1 star. Some of it comes from personal taste, while other comes from how different aspects were executed.

For example: this book is recommended to 'fans of Narnia'. There's a reason. The realm they go to and their situation is quite literally a slightly altered Narnia experience. Three siblings travel to this realm during the Blitz while hiding in the bomb shelter.

Petemund... I mean, Jaime, is the only brother with an intense need to fight in the war and a protective instincts over all of his siblings. Susan/Phillipa, is the older sister and literally a carbon copy of Susan. From being skeptical of the magical realm, to her siblings mentioning that when they returned she gave herself over to makeup and boys and other interests of our world. And finally, we have Lucy/Evelyn: the youngest, the sister with the most childlike faith and wonder, the one with the closest bond to the Aslan figurehead (he's a stag in this book.)

You see, the comparisons to Narnia could sound like a complaint, but they really weren't. Narnia was the first actual book series I ever read and it will always be the fantasy world my heart longs for the most. Taking that story and aging it up, altering it slightly, asking hard questions, that was all something I really appreciated and for the most part, it was decently well done.

The first half of the book is through Evelyn's perspective and alternates between present day, and small flashbacks to their time in the other world. The second half is through Phillipa's perspective and functions much the same way, except her flashbacks aren't necessarily from their time in the other world.

This set-up worked fairly well, especially for the first half of the book. By Phillipa's perspective, I was beginning to find it tedious and waiting for the book to end. Which, I think is partially due to the pacing of this book.

This is a slow paced book.

And I mean sloooowwww.

If you're going into this book expecting daring swordfights and a lush fantasy adventure, or if you read the synopsis and are expecting a nail-biting, edge of your seat kind of mystery, you're not going to get either of those things. What you will get is a story that takes its time to paint a picture for you. It's a very introspective read. It's a story about the bond between siblings. About not feeling like you belong. About the importance of home and what that means for us.

There were two main aspects that led to my rating being lower than I wish it could have been.

The self-harm rep and the ending.

The first one is such a personal thing, and some people may find that they think this book has perfect representation and I'm truly happy for them. However, the way this book dealt with it did more harm than good, in my personal opinion. I won't give examples or go into descriptions. If you've read the book, you know.

My issues with the ending are much more technicality based. The book was so, so slowly paced and then you get to the end and it's like "And here's a vague resolution that doesn't really make sense! Enjoy!" Sometimes that can work! But in my personal opinion, it just didn't here. The ending could definitely be interpreted as more of an open ending, perhaps that's what the author intended. But to me, it just felt rushed and cheapened the rest of the book.

Overall, this was a really good book, for the most part. I just had enough problems with it that kept me from rating it any higher.
Profile Image for Vee_Bookish.
1,342 reviews303 followers
November 10, 2020
[ARC Provided by NetGalley, my review is unbiased]
Wordpress Blog | Twitter | Pinterest

📗 Somehow 2020 has blessed me with not one, but two new favourite authors and after many years of not having any auto-buy authors, this feels amazing. This book reminded me of my favourite childhood books, but was utterly heartbreaking.

📕 I've often wondered how the Pevensie children of Narnia went home and just continued their lives after so many years away from home, and this follows a very similar vein, but after the three siblings come home after years in a fantasy Kingdom that was torn apart by war, they can never be the same again.

📘 Evelyn, or Ev, was such a raw, heartbreaking character suffering from depression after being torn away from the world she saw as home. I was surprised by how dark this book got, not shying away from self harm and suicidal ideation.

📙 Most of the memories of the world they travelled to and the joys and horrors they witness there, is told by Ev, as Phil doesn't remember the world as well as Ev does. While that world was torn apart by war and friends and foe slain, Ev saw only the beauty.

📒 The second half of the book, Phillipa, or Phil takes over the story. She's a few years older than Ev, living in America but travels home. I enjoyed her part of the story more, as she described the world that London had become after the war and the National Gallery she worked at in incredible detail.

📓 The ending is just perfect, without leaving me with unanswered questions. I was so, so sad to leave but at the same time I felt like the character's stories were told and it was time to leave. I cannot wait to see what the author does next.
Profile Image for Kathy Shin.
151 reviews118 followers
October 22, 2018
Right. Where do I even start with this?

How about here: there's only one other book (or series, rather) I've read this year that's made me cry as much as this one, and even now, days later, it's got me aching and drenched with its characters and their pains.

I wondered if should take a month to sort out my feelings and write something that can be at least 10% of what this story is worth. Then I realized I could take the entire year and still have no "perfect" review to show at the end of it.

Because this is one of those stories that feels too large to fit inside me. One of those stories that crawls through my skin to rip open old wounds and heal them anew, leaving me raw and open. And how do you deconstruct such a thing?

Well, I know I can't do it justice. But I'll try anyway.

The Light Between Worlds is a portal fantasy unlike any I've ever read. A re-imagining of Narnia and the continuation of it. The continuation of all portal fantasies, as it explores what happens to these children, who are no longer children, when they get dropped back into a world they've been absent from for so long. It's a bit like the Wayward Children series and The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in that respect.

But Light Between Worlds takes things deeper. Darker. It approaches portal fantasy with a brutal lens that refuses to sugarcoat the reality of war, depression, PTSD, and the kind, wise mythical creatures who would take oaths of service from the mouths of children. But most of all, it's about the love between sisters and finding a place--a world--that you can rightly call "home."

One of the most brilliant things about this book is that it show how portal fantasies are, in many ways, tragedies. And it does that by being very light-handed with the fantasy. We only see limited bits of the Woodlands from Evelyn's flashbacks, and I don't think additional details are necessary (though it would have been welcome) seeing as how it's a world we've all seen before--if not in Chronicles of Narnia, then in some other fantasy tale. The real focus of the story is in present-day England, where we see all the ways that the Woodlands haunts these characters.

It's been five years since the siblings came back from the other world and Evelyn hungers deeply for it. Every part of her bleeds Woodlands and she walks through each day like a ghost, keening for a home that's lost to her.

You don't need to be a character in a portal fantasy to relate to Evelyn's struggles. If you've ever longed for a time you wished you could return to; if you've ever longed to be somewhere else--or if not somewhere else, then to at least find some kind of footing in the present because most days it feels like you're drifting above it; if you've seen your loved ones break themselves to keep you here, keep you whole; if it ever felt like you're watching your life through the mirror of a mirror, all distorted and foreign--and the suffocating loneliness that comes with it, and the sense of unbelonging, and the feeling that one day you're just going to float up and up away into nothing--and all that is enough to make you want to stop being...you will see yourself in Evelyn.

I saw far, far too much of myself and when I wasn't tearing up or outrightly sobbing, I was turning pages with my heart lodged in my throat. And still I couldn't stop reading. Because while Weymouth doesn't shy away from the ugliness of mental illness, her portrayal is so honest and in its honesty there's validation.

And the prose, at once simple and beautifully melancholic, compliments the subject matter so well and helps blunt the harshness. There's a thrum of sorrow that runs through the writing, but above it you can also find wonder and love--so much love--and the combination is breathtaking.

And then we have Phillippa who's waging a different war of her own but finds herself just as lost as Evelyn. While I saw most of myself in Evelyn, it was the elder Hapwell sister who captured my heart.

Phillippa is the pillar of the family. The one who tries to remain steadfast and strong even when she's crumbling inside. The one who has to hold Evelyn back from her darkness time and time again. And unlike Evelyn she's determined to carve a new life in this world and forget the magic of the woods and its great Guardian stag. Determined to wear a confident smile because she refuses to become what Evelyn's become, she cannot. I don't want to make a lot of Narnia comparisons, but with Phillippa the book does right by Susan Pevensie, taking Lewis' "lipsticks, nylons and invitations" line and turning it from a condemnation into a shield and a weapon. It's brilliantly done.

The love shared between Evelyn and Phillippa is undeniable. But love can exist with razor-sharp edges; it can hurt as much as it nourishes. And sometimes love isn't enough to keep you from breaking when things get hard, and things can get so, so damn hard. The sacrifices these two make for each another despite the hurt and the hardship is the very definition of courage and what makes this story such a masterful one.

All in all, The Light Between Worlds is a stunningly beautiful character-focused story about finding light amidst the grey. And I know, down to my bones, that it's one I'll treasure for a long, long time.

Review copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review

Note: the author has a paragraph of trigger warnings for the book on her website--including self-harm and suicide ideation--which I didn't take seriously. Turns out I should have. And you should too. They're there for a reason. I had to binge-watch The Haunting of Hill House to recover from it, because being too scared to go to the bathroom is better than being too sad to get out of bed. Take care. <3
Profile Image for Britt.
17 reviews24 followers
May 20, 2018
Wow, this book was quite a trip. It started out with a Chronicles of Narnia vibe but then turned into all of the darkness and poetic beauty of Wintersong. This book gives insight to what might happen after Narnia. They’ve lived in a different world, are years older, different people – and then get thrown back into their younger bodies in this old world. It is a story about the bond/relationship between sisters, and dealing with loss, grief, and guilt. Keep in mind that this is a pretty emotionally intense story (feeling lost, depression, self-harm) so take care while reading. It is also interwoven with poetry, magic, art, and finding where your heart calls home. Laura Weymouth enchants you with the Woodlands and makes you never want to leave. It is heart-wrenching and beautiful and definitely worth a read this Fall!
Profile Image for Ameema S..
486 reviews40 followers
July 17, 2018
4.5 stars.

I'm an Indigo Employee, and I received an advanced reading copy of this book, in exchange for my honest feedback.

The alternate ending to Narnia that you never knew you needed. This book was devastating (in the best of ways). Covering incredibly heavy topics like grief, loss, trauma, and mental illness – this book was truly genre-defying. Almost split into two stories – this read half like the story of a young, troubled girl – torn between two worlds; and half like the new adult coming-of-age story of a woman who loses her sister. Somehow, the two stories worked, and together told a heartbreaking (but strangely uplifting) story. I really loved this book – I was surprised by how much, and am excited for more from this author.
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