This is one of the most unusual books I have read in a long time.
A baby abandoned in a bookshop; adults disappearing, leaving only piles of clothes; a journey of self discovery- these are elements which form this intreguing tale.
Unsettling in places, 'The Beginning Woods' mingles the 'real' and fairy tale world, merging and weaving the two, creating a multi-layered narrative which would appeal older readers who enjoy a challenging read.
Malcolm McNeill writes vividly, enabling the reader to easily share the experiences of Max (the abandoned baby) as he grows. When the authorities decide to start destroying books in an effort to control the 'Vanishings', I felt every ounce of Max's pain and anguish at the scenes of destruction.
I could write at length about this fascinating and original story, but really don't want to spoil it for anyone. This is one you need to read and judge for yourself...
The Beginning Woods Malcolm McNeill
Pushkin Children's ISBN: 978-1782690900