Friday, December 7, 2018

Review: The Light Between Worlds

The Light Between Worlds
Laura E. Weymouth
Published October 23, 2018
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. - from Goodreads
The Light Between Worlds has a lot in common with the classic The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe - a group of siblings are whisked away from WWII England and find themselves in a magical land.  After joining in a war for several years, they are transported back to the moment they left.  The Light Between Worlds, however, explores what happens to the siblings after they return.

The story is told from three main POVs - Evelyn, Philippa, and flashbacks to the time in the Woodlands (there is also a brother, Jamie, but the book is more focused on the sisters' relationship).  I loved the first half of the book, which is told from Evelyn's point of view.  Just 11 years old when she finds herself in the Woodlands, Evelyn spends her formative years there, so when they return to London and she is back to being 11, she feels lost.  It came across so clearly that she immediately felt at home in the Woodlands, and her life back in the real world would never be the same.  Although she tries for many years to fit in, there is a desperation running through Evelyn's story that is hard to ignore.  Philippa, unfortunately, is not as interesting as Evelyn.  She even says herself at one point that things just generally work out for her.  After Evelyn disappears, Philippa comes home to England and, without even trying, lands herself a job and a suitor.  I just wanted to know more about what happened to Evelyn.

The thing I loved most about this book was the beautiful writing.  It's elegant and feels a little poetic, but contains none of the over-the-top purple prose that I often dislike.  There are so many emotions running through the story; at times it felt melancholy and resigned, at others wistful.

If you're looking for a lot of action, you won't find it here.  There are hints of it in the flashbacks, but this book is more about the characters than anything else.  One thing I did want more of, though, was better world-building of the Woodlands.  It seemed really similar to Narnia, so I was hoping for some differences. 

4 stars

22 comments:

  1. This sounds like such an interesting story! It seems as though it is a wonderful story, and I am happy that you enjoyed the writing style. :)

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  2. I was curious about this one, because that cover is exquisite. Glad to hear the writing lived up to that beauty, and I really like the idea of exploring how the characters were in the after.

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  3. I'm not sure if I've stumbled across this before, but that cover looks vaguely familiar. I like the idea of the story focusing on the siblings once they've returned, and not just the events leading up to it. I feel like being whisked away like that would have a lasting impact on people, so I'm curious how it affected their lives afterwards.

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

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    1. Exactly! It kind of continues where The Chronicles of Narnia ended.

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  4. I love a character-driven book, Angela. I’m happy to hear you enjoyed it overall.

    Jennifer Tar Heel Reader

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  5. I've heard a lot of comparisons between this and Narnia, and I'm intrigued! I'm usually more of a plot-driven reader, but this one has been on my radar for awhile. You've definitely made me want to give it a try!

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  6. First of all, the cover is GORGEOUS! I love a story that focuses on characters! I will definitely have to check this out! Great review, Angela!

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  7. Interesting! I've heard the same thing from other bloggers, that the Woodlands were very reminiscent of Narnia- too bad there wasn't more to that- but it sounds like I would like the first half better too, with the focus on the other world. I'm really curious about this one, and what happens to Evelyn when she returns and has to grow up- can she ever go back? I may have to give this a read.

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    1. Evelyn was such a complex character, I really felt for her!

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  8. I love your comparison to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. I wish there was a little more focus on that than what it sounds like we're given, but it sounds like falling the characters after they've returned from the magical land is very interesting as well. I've been wanting to read this one anyway because of that stunning cover and because of the WWII timeframe, and I'm more interested than ever after reading your review.

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    1. Yes, those were all reasons I wanted to pick it up, too! I hope you enjoy it!

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  9. Lovely review! I'm really happy to hear you enjoyed this book so much - it is one of my most anticipated reads of the year and it sounds amazing, I can't wait to read it. I'm glad to hear it's character-focused, since I tend to love that in my books :D

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  10. Adding this to my TBR immediately!! That sounds like such a good read, and that COVER!

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    1. Yay, that makes me happy! I know, I LOVE the cover!

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  11. I think I saw this before and totally forgot it after that. I really like the concept of this book. I'll add this to my wishlist now so I won't forget again. also, ohmy, that breathtaking cover!!

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I'm so glad you stopped by, and I would love to hear your thoughts! Comments are always greatly appreciated!