It feels amazing to be blogging again, this year has been hard for us all in different ways. I am delighted to be able to have the time and space to blog again. I have various reviews typed and waiting to pop up. I am looking forward to sharing your reviews again and gently entering the world I love most, the book community. It is unlike any others. I missed you.
Pine by Francine Toon
They are driving home from the search party when they see her. The trees are coarse and tall in the winter light, standing like men.
Lauren and her father Niall live alone in the Highlands, in a small village surrounded by pine forest. When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In the morning, she’s gone.
In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. The disappearance of Lauren’s mother a decade ago.
Lauren looks for answers in her tarot cards, hoping she might one day be able to read her father’s turbulent mind. Neighbours know more than they let on, but when local teenager Ann-Marie goes missing it’s no longer clear who she can trust.
In the shadow of the Highland forest, Francine Toon captures the wildness of rural childhood and the intensity of small-town claustrophobia. In a place that can feel like the edge of the word, she unites the chill of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times.
Book review by Kelly Lacey – Three Stars
Set in the Scottish Highlands this gothic fiction novel is one you will certainly be wanting to read. Lauren’s mother disappeared ten years ago from the wee village. Now local teenager Anne-Marie has gone missing. Are the disappearances connected? Who is that lady at the side of the road? Lauren has no idea her world is about to turn upside down.
Firstly I have to say I am not one for any spooky books. So Pine put me completely out of my comfort zone and many times I put the book down and said, oh no this is too much for me. But the writing is clever and the plot so addictive that I had to put my big girl pants on and go back into the book.
I am glad I did as I really enjoyed it, it’s hard to read through a cushion. It is not like horror movies where you can hide. It makes it all the more lifelike. When I read I immerse myself and somewhat haunt the characters on their journey and now it is role reversal as they are haunting me.
Niall is a marmite character in so many ways. Consumed by grieve and alcohol he is not the best father to little Lauren. But his flawed ways made me cross one moment and then you felt for him. Losing his wife, with no answers as to where she went. The whole little village looking at you and waiting on you messing up.
The paranormal parts of the book were written perfectly. The way they just gave you a hint of something was enough for your mind to pull the other tricks out of it. They were really creepy but imperative to the plot so you can’t skim them.
Overall a good read, I really enjoyed my time with Pine and I would read Francine Toon’s work in the future.
Atmospheric, creepy, memorable.
Independent Bookstore Link
Thank you for stopping by and reading my review today. I hope something wonderful happens to you today.
In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for us (at no extra cost for you).