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| The Ghost Woods

by CJ Cooke

Published : 13th October 2022

Publisher : Harper Collins

Format : Kindle, Audio, Hardback, Paperback

Genre : Gothic Thriller

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* All words highlighted in Grey are affiliate links to either purchase from a range of sellers or links to the authors sites. Where ever possible I will try and provide different versions of the book on all purchase sites.


In the midst of the woods stands a house called Lichen Hall.

This place is shrouded in folklore โ€“ old stories of ghosts, of witches, of a child who is not quite a child.

Now the woods are creeping closer, and something has been unleashed.

Pearl Gorham arrives in 1965, one of a string of young women sent to Lichen Hall to give birth. And she soon suspects the proprietors are hiding something.

Then she meets the mysterious mother and young boy who live in the grounds โ€“ and together they begin to unpick the secrets of this place.

As the truth comes to the surface and the darkness moves in, Pearl must rethink everything she knew โ€“ and risk what she holds most dear.

My Review

Told from a past and present narrative this book really immerses you and draws you into its gothic thriller vibes.

1950s Mabel is a young girl who finds herself mysteriously pregnant. She is a virgin and absolutely baffled at how she became pregnant. Bringing shame to the family for being unwed Mabel is sent to Lichen Hall, a large house in the woods that provides a seemingly safe space for young girls to have their babies, and see them adopted into a loving family.

Alternatively, we fast forward to 1965 with Pearl. Also pregnant by her boyfriend and is still stung by the stigma of shame. Pearl is forced to choose Lichen Hall over the birthing homes nearby that are awful and unsuitable.

But not everything is right at Lichen Hall. Mrs Whitlock who runs it acts like she has a split personality, the girls that work there for free seem to be hiding secrets and there is something evil that lives in the woods. Rumoured to be an ancient witch.

I loved this premise. The woods and horrifying creatures that dwelled within them chilled me to the core and the magic that seemed to weave its way through some of the characters was spellbinding and eerie.

I loved Pearl and Mabel, both forced by society to hide their pregnancies and are sent away and shunned for being pregnant. Knowing this used to be the norm really touched me and I felt hard for those girls. The author was extremely clever with the way in which she builds up the characters for us, leading me to believe one thing, as unexplainable as it was, only to be shocked by a heartbreaking revelation further into the book.

This is a chilling folklore story. At the core of Lichen Hall is an ancient witch whose evil is hell-bent on slowly taking over the hall and its babies, to spread its evil like the spores of fungi into the world. When Mabel and Pearl finally meet and past meets present it's clear things have to change and the suspense becomes intense.

Lichen House is shrouded in folklore โ€“ old stories of ghosts, of witches, and of a child who is not quite a child.

Thank you @harpercollins for this copy and @cj_cookeauthor for another gripping and unputdownable read.

๐. ๐‡๐š๐ฏ๐ž ๐ฒ๐จ๐ฎ ๐ซ๐ž๐š๐ ๐š๐ง๐ฒ ๐จ๐Ÿ ๐ญ๐ก๐ข๐ฌ ๐š๐ฎ๐ญ๐ก๐จ๐ซ๐ฌ ๐›๐จ๐จ๐ค๐ฌ ๐ฒ๐ž๐ญ?




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I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on this review, if you have read this book why not drop me a line telling me your thoughts?


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