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In a Dark Wood: A Novel

About the Book

In a Dark Wood: A Novel

London native Benedick Hunter is a recently divorced, out-of-work actor and the ambivalent father of two young children, who is battling loneliness and depression. While going through the motions of packing his possessions to move from his house, Benedick finds a book of fairy tales by his late mother entitled North to Nowhere. Upon opening the book, he embarks upon a journey discovering his mother's concealed past–her seemingly unhappy marriage, her secret family in America, her success as a children's illustrator and author, and, ultimately, her unexplained suicide when Benedick was just a boy. Intrigued by the mystical and dark stories in his mother's work and the familiar faces in her illustrations, Benedick discovers piece by piece his mother's troubled life, traversing the turbulent waters of his own mind in the process. His research leads him across the Atlantic to rural America outside Charleston, South Carolina, where his mother's family still lives. The bizarre and grim truth that Benedick unearths there finally completes the puzzle about his mother's past and leads to the diagnosis of his own mental illness.

Running the gamut from cryptic to familiar, horrifying to comic, disturbing to moving, the story line of In a Dark Wood swings as dramatically as the moods of its protagonist. 'Craig keeps the reader guessing while she escalates the frenzied rise and fall of Benedick's mania, providing relief to the reader in the form of answers, and to Benedick in the form of mood-equalizing lithium.'

In a Dark Wood: A Novel
by Amanda Craig

  • Publication Date: March 11, 2003
  • Paperback: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN-10: 038572117X
  • ISBN-13: 9780385721172