In the Heart of the Darkwood

In the Heart of the DarkwoodAuthor: Billy Coffey

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: November 11, 2014

Billy Coffey brings the citizens of Mattingly back to life in this new tale of loss, life, and love!

It’s been a year and a half since the Carnival Day storm. The storm that killed many people and swept Allie Granderson’s momma away, leaving only a pink tennis shoe behind for proof of her existence.  The toy compass that Allie’s momma gave to her on the Carnival Day has stayed attached to her wrist, hoping it will point the way to find her momma, even though it busted during the storm.  Her father has falling into a deep depression and she remains in denial that her momma has died.  She even refuses for a nativity set to me removed from the year because she has latched onto the Mary for a temporary replacement.  One night when a cold storm wind blows the Mary figure away from the yard, Allie’s compass mysteriously begins working again.  With her friend Zach, her dog Samwise, and her compass, Allie sets out to find her momma.  Once she realizes they have to enter the woods, Allie finds that it is going to take all of her strength to go in only hoping that they will find her momma soon and everything will be back to normal by Christmas.  But the woods test those that enter them and those that return are never the same as when they entered.

Billy Coffey brings back the characters that we have grown attached to throughout his novels. Each of his novels is set at different times that centers around key events.  Once you have read his novels, you find out that you are not reading about distant characters because you have become a resident of Mattingly yourself.  You walk the same streets and know the same people as everyone else.  But most of all, you get to know the residents that much better by the end of his book.  I was very happy to find out that he was doing this book with Allie Granderson as the main character.  I became very attached to her throughout When Mockingbirds Sing and was devastated for her at the end of the book.  This story is about her suffering.  The story that is not so uncommon to many that we may know personally.  Some of us may be her personally.  But it is also the story of her redemption.  Of being lost and found.  Many will find a mirror of the 23rd psalm as they read through this book.

Billy Coffey writes very deeply in his novels and there is a lot going on that has to be followed. However, you don’t have to read all his novels to understand a single novel.  Even so, I would highly recommend that you do that.  Mattingly is like your time in more ways than you may realize.  He goes where many do not in his novels.  And I thank him for it.