'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.' - author Jackie French

Monday, 11 April 2016

Review: Into that Forest

Set in the late 1800s in Tasmania, Into that Forest is a heartfelt tale of friendship and survival under the harshest of conditions. Hannah, our adult narrator looks back to her childhood. In broken English, she tells how her parents took her and a friend on an upriver picnic when she was six.

The boat never made it home. Lost and alone in the Tasmanian wilderness, Hannah and her friend do what they must to survive. Without their most unlikely of protectors, the girls would have perished within a week. Instead, their time in the wild spans years. Their story is gut wrenching and heart warming at the same time.

In some ways, Into that Forest is a YA version of Dog Boy by Eva Hornung, which has been recently re-released, but Into that Forest does not remain in the forest. Hannah’s journey takes her to the ocean where her father’s whaling stories become her eleven-year-old reality.

I felt cold as the girls traipsed barefoot through snow and smelled the fresh blood from a recent kill. Into that Forest is not always a comfortable read but it is powerful. While some scenes border on horror, the need to survive makes human beings take steps they’d never dream of. The issues Into that Forest raises, including loyalty and betrayal, still swirl in my mind.

Not for the faint-hearted or emotionally sensitive, but worth every minute.

Title: Into That Forest
Author: Louis Nowra
Publisher: Allen & Unwin $19.99 RRP
Publication Date: 2012
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781743311646
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult Fiction

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