Hello Humans! I promised a swift follow on to my Jade City readalong didn’t I? Well, I finished that amazing fantasy novel and jumped right into The Light Between Worlds. I was excited to read this exploration of what happens when the children transported into another world come back, how they cope and what happens next…
Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.
When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.
Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.
Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.
But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.
Chapter One – Twenty
This is the kind of book you need to get into so I thought I’d read the first twenty chapters before my first check in. So far I am hooked, I almost don’t want to start work today so I can keep reading – but alas there are emails to be answered.
But yes, I highly suggest heading to the author’s website to read the content warnings she has so wonderfully provided because there have been a couple of things that some readers may find difficult.
So far I have enjoyed both sides to the story, both the real world and the woodlands, but unusually I think I’m finding the real world narrative more compelling. As someone who lives with her head fully in the clouds, that’s very odd for me.
I want to hug everyone and tell them it’s all going to be ok – although I have a distinct feeling that it isn’t…
Chapter Twenty-One – End
OK BUT IN MY DEFENCE THIS ISN’T A VERY LONG BOOK AND I READ VERY QUICKLY I’M SORRY!
Um. right. I want to talk about everything before the last couple of chapters because that’s where I had a bit of an…issue with where this book went. But up until that point, I thought this book was profoundly wonderful. This isn’t the first book to tackle that idea of ‘what happens when you’re back in the real world after something profoundly magical happens to you’ but it does it with a degree of honesty and realism that I haven’t really found anywhere else. As someone who herself has struggled with depression, as well as being on the other side attempting to care for someone going through a bad mental health ‘episode’ I related hugely to that sense of just wanting a big button you could press to make everything ok for the person suffering. That idea that all you need to do is find the exact right thing to say or do and everything will click back into place for them and you’ll be able to move on with your life. The pain of not finding that easy answer was so clear throughout this book but particularly in Phillipa’s POV.
I won’t spoil anything but I wasn’t entirely sold on the ending. I felt like it would have lent itself to being left more open – but I can also see the benefits in finishing the narrative the way that they did.
I loved reading this book. It manages to be hugely sad and moving but at the same time, there is that little bit of hope that stops you feeling utterly devastated. That idea of homecoming is clear throughout, and the idea of putting yourself before other people – in a self-care kind of a way.
Obviously, this book deals with some difficult ideas and themes, but it does so in a way that feels incredibly sensitive and profoundly caring. It doesn’t shy away from the darkness that can come with depression and self-harm but it allows you as the reader to feel very real feelings for both Evelyn and Phillipa – whether that’s compassion, frustration or something else.
If you’re in a position where you can handle reading this I’d definitely recommend it, while the ending left a little to be desired I still think it’s well worth picking up a copy.
My rating: 4/5 stars
I bought this book myself, all opinions are my own.
What will the TBR jar pick next?
Fabulous! This is actually the oldest Fairyloot book that’s been sat on my shelf, so I’m thrilled to get to actually read it! Stay tuned for a readalong coming soon – maybe one with more than two parts? Who knows – miracles happen!
What say you? What other books have good mental health rep? Let me know in the comments below!