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In the Night Wood

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  367 ratings  ·  139 reviews



Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America be

Kindle Edition, 259 pages
Published February 7th 2019 by HarperVoyager (first published October 2018)
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3.59  · 
Rating details
 ·  367 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Diane S ☔
Nov 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Unbearable loss and grief, a failing marriage, a literary obsession bring Erin and Charles to the dusty Manor that Erin inherited from her ancestor, Caedmon Hollow. A Victorian children's novel, the only work that Caedmon would leave before he committed suicide, stirs a fascination in Charles, one he hopes to turn into a worthy dissertation. There are, however, more things than can be rationally explained, in the woods behind the house.

Mixing folklore, an obscure novel, and a newly discovere
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Now that the weather is finally turning gloomy, you might be looking for an atmospheric read. Look no further! This book blends folklore, English countryside, mysterious books, missing children, and a wood that beckons....

I enjoyed Bailey's short stories that I also read this year, and I may have a slight preference for those because they were more along the lines of dark fantasy and sometimes humorous, always full of humanity. Sometimes I felt trapped in this book because it gets a bit circular
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
In the Night Wood is just the kind of book I like to read. A story about a married couple who move to a new house. A house that the wife has inherited. A house with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest. A forest that is so deep that you can get lost in it...

Now I had the pleasure of both listen to the audio version and reading the book. I think I preferred listening to the book which could be because John Banks did such an excellent job. As for the story itself. It's perfectly OK. How
Char (Tacky Genre Buff)
IN THE NIGHT WOOD was my first novel by Dale Bailey but I'm sure it won't be my last!

Within the pages of this dark fiction narrative is a fairy-tale like story, but no "happily ever after" ending is promised. A couple inherits an old manor located in the countryside of England, on the edge of a large, dark wood. Amidst the grief and guilt they feel due to a recent family tragedy, Charles and Erin feel like a move might be the very thing they need. But of course, in true fairy tale fashion, thin
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Charles Hayden is watching his life and his marriage go down the drain. An Affair. His daughter dying. He and Erin have just drifted apart. Then his wife inherits the Hollow family home. Hollow House. Maybe the house, the money, the new start will make everything ok? Charles and Erin don't realize that Hollow House and the Eorl Wood surrounding it hold dark secrets. Very dark secrets.

This story unfolds like a deep, dark, demented fairy tale. An old house sitting in the middle of the deep, dark w
Helen Power
When he was just a young boy, Charles Hayden discovered a mysterious Victorian children’s book called “In the Night Wood”.  Years later, Charles is a failing scholar who is obsessed with the book that so greatly influenced his life. His wife is a distant relative of Caedmon Hollow, the author of "In the Night Wood".  When she inherits Hollow’s home, he moves there with her to run away from their shared tragic past--the death of their six-year-old daughter.  Charles hopes that he can use this opp ...more
Sep 15, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free e-copy of In The Night Wood by Dale Bailey from NetGalley for my honest review.

A tale about a couple, who is grieving the death of their young daughter. They move to a remote estate in England that the mother inherits, to escape the reminders. Some very strange and eerie things begin to happen. The couple begins to see thing. Are they really seeing these thing, creatures or are they so grief stricken they are seeing things. A very dark, eerie fantasy.

Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Dale Bailey’s new novel In the Night Wood is assertive with its intertextuality. It begins with two epigraphical quotes, one from Mircea Eliade’s The Forbidden Forest and the other from the Brothers’ Grimm’s “Hansel and Gretel”. A prelude follows that “quotes” its fictitious novel-within-a-novel called In the Night Wood, attributed to the (also fictitious) obscure Victorian writer Caedmon Hollow. The Forbidden Forest is about a man who, after the death of his wife and child, searches for his est ...more
3.5 stars for this effort by Dale Bailey. I found myself getting immersed into the setting the author created in this book , i could see the trees , the old house and even the bar itself, this book had a sense of the ethereal in it so I enjoyed that part. But scenery a book does not make and I felt that while the story started strong it kept losing more and more complexity as it went forward and by the end it had lost any foundation that it had on the beginning . Great effort but felt flat towar ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’ve actually read Dale Bailey before. Ages ago. I vaguely recall an old paperback, liking it. But the main reason I wanted to read this book was the title/cover/description combination promising a dark fairy tale. I love fairy tales and dark is absolutely the best variety of them. And so this was one. A fairy tale for adults. About two adults who move to a great old manor in a pastoral England to try to get past the death of their young daughter only to discover the nearby woods just might be d ...more
Pop Bop
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Cernunnos Would Approve

I very much enjoyed this, but I do think this is the kind of book you have to adjust to and make allowances for as you read it. Allow me to explain.

We start out dark, creepy, and full of portent. As a youngster our hero, Charles, comes across a copy of Victorian Caedmon Hollow's strange and eldritch children's book "In the Night Wood". This disturbing book not only informs and dictates the flow of the rest of the story, it completely establishes and ordains the path of our
Caidyn (SEMI-HIATUS; BW Reviews; he/him/his)
This review can also be found on my blog!

Thanks to Edelweiss for an ARC in exchange for an honest review! This will be published October 9th.

1/5 – DNF at 47%

CW: child death

Wow, I’m not having good luck with the spooky reads, am I?

I swore I would like this. A man who loses a daughter, going to England to live in the house of a man he’s writing a biography of. His wife is some sort of distant relative and they go together, hoping to put away the past. But, as what happens, the past keeps coming ba
Nov 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: rated-3
Enjoyed this dark and eerie fantasy, but a little dissapointed that all the action happened in the last few pages of the book. Still it was intertaining to read.
La La - Everyone's Crazy Aunt
4.5 stars on the blog.

This author packed a lot of story into less than 250 pages! The writing is lush without being dense. If you loved The Hazel Wood, this is its adult sister. It is one of the best books I have read this year. I couldn't put it down. It took me firmly by the hand and said, "Come with me."

I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.
Crystal King
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
In the Night Wood tells the tale of a couple, grieving from the death of their young daughter, escaping to the wife's ancestral mansion in northern England. Both Charles and Erin see the image of their dead daughter wherever they look, and both see a mysterious horned figure looming in the woods beyond their home. This is a dark, spooky story that has some pacing issues. I wanted more excitement a little earlier in the story and for the tension to keep me going, but instead it felt more like a c ...more
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
But there was too much between them now. Too much history, too much blame and grief, too many inarticulate resentments for such intimacy.

Some wonderful writing in this tale of a couple struggling with a horrific life event. A seemingly good turn of fortune sets them up in an estate in England which on the surface may be the change of scenery they needed. Unfortunately the mystery surrounding the lineage behind the estate, the tales of the surrounding woods and the disappearances from the local
Megan Lyons
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gothic
I had a really hard time getting through this, and kept reading other books because I was struggling so much with this one. It was very slow moving. I don't mind a slow build mystery, and I like a slow creeping sense of unease in my scary stories, but this just felt needlessly wordy, and overly introspective. It felt more like a book about people dealing with tragedy and loss, than a scary story. That doesn't need to be a bad thing if it's done well. However, the protagonist was so unlikable tha ...more
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
3.5 stars
Joe Jones
I enjoyed the slow burn gothic feel to this story but there was a part that I really did not like. I am torn how much it should effect the overall rating. This is one of those times I wish we could do half stars. I don't like to round up for ratings so will stick with my 3 stars.
Wendy Wagner
Prologues are rarely a reward, but in this little volume, the prologue is glorious and stunningly magical. That magic carries through into the book's setting--a charming little English village and an elaborate mansion straight out of a Gothic novel, spooky forested grounds and all. Every scene set out on the woods is unsettling but beautiful.

The beginning and the very end of this book are absolutely fabulous. But I didn't feel like the characters, who grow a bit tedious, quite lived up to the wo
Jun 12, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction, kindle, arc
Arc provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

A grieving couple move from America to a remote estate in England to escape the lingering reminders of a recent tragedy and to study the life of a long dead reclusive writer who published one very strange fairy tale inspired novel. To no one's surprise, creepy things then begin to happen. In the Night Wood is a fairy tale inspired dark mystery that foists upon the reader a foreboding feeling of unease as the author dangles uns
Alysa H.
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
One of the most creepily atmospheric books I've read in some time, Dale Bailey's übergothic In the Night Wood did not disappoint.

The lead character, Charles Hayden, is not an especially likeable person. I'm not sure whether this was intentional, but it's ultimately irrelevant in that one can nonetheless feel for him in his grief over his dead child. Charles' wife, Erin Hayden, is ostensibly an equal lead character and also has POV sections, but she lacks Charles' complexity, instead functioning
Sep 23, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
**I was provided a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

I really enjoyed the concept of this story. I felt the writing was very atmospheric and that you could really picture being in this small Yorkshire village, but overall I felt it was very slow. The bits that had to do with Hollow and the supernatural were interesting, but it just took a lot of time to get there. I felt like I had read the majority of the story before anything really happened. I was hoping for a da
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle
A Grimm inspired gothic horror tale, In The Night Wood brings out the best in subtlety and slow boil horror. The author unspools the creepy tale along side an intricate dissection of the protagonist’s emotional/psychological state after the death of his daughter.
Perfectly paced and lyrical, this is a perfect stew of the fantastic, horrific and psychological.
Jun 08, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you are a fan of victorian gothics, definitely give this one a try.

I would have liked this more if the protagonist hadn't been a completely unlikable, awful, selfish husband and individual. That being said, it gets points for gothic atmosphere and well done 'is it real or is it hallucination' scenes.
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
2.5 stars for this one but I'm going to go up because I may be rating it lower due to the book not being what I wanted it to be. In the Night Wood was bleak. It was not a vibrant or uplifting book in any way and where that may have been okay had it fallen on the horror spectrum, I expected more. I suppose that is my review in a few words: I expected more.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful read that falls somewhere on the dark fantasy/horror spectrum. Bailey conjures up an oppressive atmosphere with both the environment of the story and the weight of memory placed upon his characters shoulders. Highly recommended.
Lynn Williams
In the Night Wood is a book that I finished with mixed feelings. On the one hand I loved the gothic premise, the idea of an old mansion and an enchanted forest. The writing is really impressive and there are so many bookish quotes and references that you couldn’t throw a stick around these pages without hitting something of note. It’s also a relatively quick read and I can’t deny that the idea of the dark forest that seems to almost have a mind of it’s own
3.5 Stars

In the Night Wood is a short novel that is nevertheless not an easy read. A dark fantasy, it features an antihero who is an adulterous, failed parent and struggling scholar, and whose wife is a descendent of Caedmon Hollow, English author of the titular story, "In the Night Wood." At a fortuitous moment, American Charles Hayden and his grief-stricken wife Erin find themselves the beneficiaries of her recently deceased Hollow ancestor, who bestowed Hollow House, its lands and its fortune
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i want to give this story four stars, but then i thought some more and decided not to... i enjoyed the book quite a lot as a fiction, but then i began to realize how insidious was the skeleton of the thing i was holding... so... what i liked then the rest... great pacing, kind of a thriller/mystery/fable... good sense of small town life...enjoyed the quasi-historical aspects too... i felt the book would have done well to add drawings, as there was a lot of them mentioned/described in the text... ...more
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Dale was born in West Virginia in 1968, and grew up in a town called Princeton, just north of the Virginia line. His stories have appeared in lots of places—The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Amazing Stories, Sci-Fiction, Lightspeed Magazine, and various anthologies. Several of them have been nominated for awards, and “Death and Suffrage,” later filmed as part ...more