Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep comes a haunting romance set deep in the magical snow-covered forest, where the appearance of a mysterious boy unearths secrets that awakens the enchanted, but angry, woods. Be careful of the dark, dark wood…Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even. Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman-the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago-and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’s been missing. But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own-secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.  

Oh my gosh you guys! Shea Ernshaw has done it again!! Winterwood is a deliciously magical book that I am head over heels in love with. There was so much magic, suspense, and mystery woven together by the absolutely gorgeous writing. I will admit that it was a slow start, and for a while it felt like I was being hit over the head time and time again with the fact that Nora is a witch and nobody likes her for it. But, during those first few chapters we learn through entries in the family’s spell book all about the generations of Walker women, born with magical gifts and destined to be alone. There are also spells included that correlate to each of the Walker women that are just that little something extra that I adored. I may have to let my inner witch shine through and try out some of these spells for myself!

About a quarter of the way through the book the story really takes flight. Nora has found Oliver in the woods, like so many of the treasures she hoards away in her room. She wants to keep him. To not end up like the other Walker women alone in the woods, but the mystery surrounding the night Oliver went missing just may stand in her way. From the way the first few chapters were written, I was not expecting the story to lead me down the path that it did. There are boys that are vicious and secrets around every corner. The suspense of not knowing what happened but needing to know kept me turning page after page! Until I reached the ending that almost destroyed me with how beautifully quiet it was after the nerve wracking situation Nora and Oliver found themselves in.  

Y’all, this book is a total 5 out of 5 stars for me! Yes, it may take you a hot minute to really be sucked into the story, but there is not a moment that isn’t either beautiful or completely suspenseful.

This book releases on November 5, 2019, so in the meantime, if you haven’t already read The Wicked Deep, also by Ms. Ernshaw, I highly recommend, and if you’re looking for another generational tale full of magical realism, check out Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore. If it’s mystery and suspense you’re craving, This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston just may be what you’re looking for.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for providing this e-arc for me to review.

Rating: ★★★★★

You can now purchase Winterwood on Amazon (as well as The Wicked Deep) via the links below:

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