Friday, December 2, 2022

The Forest by Lisa Quigley Review

 Today Alex recommends THE FOREST by Lisa Quigley. We hope you'll check it out! 

The Forest by Lisa Quigley

"Everyone in Edgewood believes their annual tithes at the fall festival are what purchase Edgewood’s safety, but as Faye and her husband prepare to take over as town stewards—a long tradition carried out by her family for generations—they learn the terrible truth: in order to guarantee the town’s safety, the forest demands an unthinkable sacrifice.

In the midst of everything, Faye is secretly battling debilitating postpartum anxiety that makes her all the more terrified to leave the safe cocoon of her enchanted town.

When everyone turns against her—including her own husband—Faye is forced to flee with her infant son into the forest. She must face whatever lurks there and, perhaps most frightening of all, the dark torments of her own mind.

The Forest is an adult folk horror novel appealing to fans of 'The Lottery' by Shirley Jackson and Bird Box by Josh Malerman, with a hint of The Changeling by Victor LaValle. It is Quigley’s debut novel.

Amazon | Goodreads 

Alex's Review

I read THE FOREST by Lisa Quigley in two sittings, but the first sitting had me to the 90% waypoint and I only had to stop because I needed to work on dinner. I loved all the dark fantasy and folk horror vibes in addition to some psychological horror. The town of Edgewood is an ideal place to live, where people are healthy and safe. But they don't know that they owe their thanks to the Forest, and the Stewards of the town who have made sacrifices to keep the people/things out there appeased. Will Faye, an upcoming Steward, be able to make an equivalent sacrifice to save the town and the lives of everyone around her ?

The book is told in three parts with alternating POVs: before Faye knows what is going on and after Faye knows what is going on. This format translates into extremely fast page turning because you just can't wait to figure out how the two storylines converge. You know something bad leads up to the current state of fear and actions, but you just have to find out exactly how the puzzle pieces fit together. Quigley excels at leading us deeper into the dark realm of truth the further we get into The Forest.

And oh wow, The Forest is not a place I would want to be alone (or with an infant) at night by myself. It is a character all on its own and the atmospheric vibes are bountiful. Quigley creates a perfect setting here and uses it to her advantage every time.

I do think there are a lot of nuances of being a mother (and maybe a parent in general?) that I did not totally connect with as I am not a parent, but that does not mean the book does not still click or resonate. I just think there is another potential layer of fear and empathy that some readers will be able to experience from firsthand familiarity that I cannot.

This is Lisa Quigley's debut novel and I am absolutely going to be on the lookout for whatever is next. This is a must-read!

Thank you for joining us today! Please share your thoughts about any or all of these works of poetry as well as any recent reads in the comments below.

We are currently accepting horror fiction and horror adjacent fiction written by diverse authors in print and epub format ONLY. If this is you, please visit our review submission page here.

Alex is a Horror Spotlight contributing reviewer. You can find Alex on Goodreads, on Twitter as @finding_montauk and on Instagram as @findingmontauk1.

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