ARC Review: Winterwood


**I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.**

Nora had often been described as odd. She was fine with that term because it meant people would leave her alone. They would steer clear of her, her mother, and her grandmother (before she passed). Nora knew who she was and was rather confident with her destiny… if it could be called that. She certainly new her family history … which was magic. She was also aware of the other name the kids often called her… witch. That, of course, was true. She was part of a long line of Walkers, all of which could do some special form of magic. Nora just did not know what her specialty was yet. What she did know was that she, and the school closest to her, were trapped due to a horrible snow storm. The school was populated with troubled boys who were sent there for adjustment. Nora was not afraid of them but they were scared of her.

Things in Nora’s life were turned on their head when a two boys disappeared right before the snow storm – one was found dead and the other was missing. Nora happened to find the missing boy and did everything she could to get him back to the school. See, Nora has a knack for finding missing things… but only the things Winterwood wished her to find. This boy was destined to come into Nora’s life. She had no idea just how much of an impact that missing boy would become in her life.

There was one word I kept repeating over and over while reading this story: haunting. Ernshaw writes beautifully haunting stories. Winterwood was no exception. The story seemed effortless and it flowed like this was meant to be written. I’m struggling to find the right words to describe how enchanting this entire story was. I was captivated from the first page.

I adored Nora’s character. I enjoyed reading her insecurities, her dreams, her fears, all of it. She grew as a character and it was delightful to witness. She had a clear character arc that I was wonderfully defined. Oliver (the boy) was just as guarded, for reasons I will not go into detail about here -read the book! He fit into the story perfectly and I should have guessed his secrets earlier but I was far too swept away to think that far ahead.

There was one small thing that did stand out to me: repetition. Throughout the entire story, both Nora and Oliver kept repeating over and over and over again how much they should not trust the other person for x,y, and z reasons. Their internal voices were working overtime saying the same thing time and time again. I found myself skipping those paragraphs because they added nothing new to the story.

Bottom line: this was a spell-binding story (no pun intended) that I implore everyone to pick up when it releases. Now that we are in Fall, it is the perfect time of year to read this haunting story.

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