Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Publication Date: October 23, 2018
Page Count: 320
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Cover Artists: Jessie Gang & Colin Anderson
My Rating: ★★★★
Let’s start at the beginning, the very beginning. I walked into work (I work at a bookstore) and this book was on the shelf as a face-out. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the cover. I have always wished they put the cover artist names on the front page as well because cover designer, Jessie Gang and cover artist, Colin Anderson deserve some notice as well. Needless to say, it’s beautiful.
Now into the book. First off I have to say that Laura E. Weymouth’s writing style in The Light Between Worlds is definitely not for everybody. While mostly remaining in the present, Weymouth flits in between reality and the children’s past in the Woodlands. When I read the summary of this book (Link to Goodreads) I thought more of the story would take place in the Woodlands, but we see the snip-its as memories. Although I wish I could have seen more of the Woodlands and could have had a more detailed story of their time there, I understand what Weymouth was going for in allowing us only what was necessary to understand the rest of the story; because the story isn’t about the Woodlands, it’s about two girls desperate need to either get back or get over it.
The reason I gave this book 4 stars and not a full five is because of its unannounced connection to C.S. Lewis’s Narnia. There are way too many similarities to The Chronicles of Narnia to not give a shout out to Lewis for the inspiration. I have no problem that it is like Narnia.
- Children escaping a war
- Giant, reverent talking Lion, I mean Stag.
Evil Witch, I mean prince, who wants the woodlands.
Children pulled into a magical woods.
The similarities are just too much to overlook and as an avid lover of C.S. Lewis and Narnia, I’m disappointed to say the least that there is no reference to his work.
What I do love about this book is the reality of what would happen when the Pevensie children, I mean the Hapwell children, come back from living years in another land. The raw truth of being a sixteen-year-old, forced back into a ten-year-old’s body is definitely a spiral into depression. How could it not be? As the children all deal with how to essentially start a new life, or start their adolescence over again, we follow Phillipa and Evelyn and how they each handle being home from the Woodlands in very different ways. We experience what declining mental health looks like from inside Evelyn and what it means to be torn between two places. We see Phillipa’s constant need to wear a mask and make sure everything is alright for everyone else and maybe, for once, Phillipa will get to worry about herself.
This is a beautifully written book and I would highly recommend to fans of Narnia and magical realism. However, I am still disappointed that Weymouth gave no indication of being inspired by Narnia, because the similarities are just too much.