Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
September 06, 2016
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Stay away from the woods…
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?
Prior to actually reading, well listening to, And the Trees Crept In, I thought that the US title was a definite downgrade in comparison to the UK title, The Creeper Man. That cover and title seemed to be . . . creepier than the US version. After reading the book, though, And the Trees Crept In, is a pretty perfect title. I don't think I have ever been happier to be not surrounded by trees as when I read this book.
This novel is fantastically creepy and weird and frightening and kind of gross and mystifying and strange. Starting from the girls' journey to La Buame, the manor house where their aunt lives to their arrival there and life with their aunt, the edict that they must not go into Python Woods, the woods surrounding the house, it's all kind of off, weird and unsettling, somehow.
There are several mediums used in telling the story - flashbacks, journal entries, epigraphs, and the main narrative - that keep the story moving, add in new developments that sometimes make things more confusing and also help keep that sort of 'horror' feeling.
I listened to And the Trees Crept In and I definitely think that helped to enhance the creepy, spooky, scary aspects and overall mood. The sound effects, the voices, and all of the different effects used really made it into a scary story. This is a book that I absolutely recommend listening to, if at all possible.
The ending of this novel was not one I saw coming, even as we got right up to it, but things all fell together perfectly. It made earlier parts of the story make more sense and made for a good conclusion. There were a few relationships in the book that I had been somewhat unsure of before (their progression or if there was really anything there) but the ending made them fit much better. The ending was a surprise, but not a bad one.
While I wouldn't recommend listening to (or reading) this book in a densely wooded area, it would make a great Halloween read/listen.