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.
I was kindly asked to take part in the blog tour for this wonderful historical fiction/fantasy novel. One of my favourite things to take away from novels are quotes and from a young age, I’ve kept various notebooks filled with them. So of course I am so happy that my post will feature some of Laura’s favourite quotes from the book and why she loves them. Although it was difficult for her to narrow them down, these are her standouts!
“I sit by the rushing water, a patchwork girl, pieced together from bits of pain, all of them a different shape, a different colour, a different sort of unhappiness.”
I love this quote because it speaks to the human capacity to bear up under a vast spectrum of difficulties. It also serves as a reminder that not all sadness is caused by large griefs – little disappointments and sorrows add up, and can overwhelm us when they become too many.
“Memory is a sharp-edged knife I can’t help but cut myself on, no matter how carefully I wield it.”
Memory is a tricky beast, isn’t it? Even good memories can leave you weighted down with unrequited longing for people and places that have irrevocably changed since you last knew them.
“… a great trail of light gleams before us, sparking off the water. It’s so bright it hurts to look at. I look anyway – a family trait.”
I love how much work this particular quote does when it comes to conveying what the Hapwell siblings are like. Because it’s very true of all three – they never can easily disentangle themselves from something beautiful, even when it becomes harmful to them.
“Powder and pumps. Jamie once told Evelyn that’s all I’m interested in since the Woodlands, but what he doesn’t realize is that you can wear powder like a shield, and wield the right lipstick like a sword … I am always on my guard now, every one of my thoughts and feelings carefully managed and accounted for, and I go nowhere unless I’m dressed for war.”
This is the most on the nose I let myself be about the Narnia series and the possible comparisons that can be drawn between Philippa Hapwell and Susan Pevensie. It felt very vindicating, writing these lines, and pointing out through Philippa that traditional feminine modes of self-expression involve deliberate choices about how one presents oneself to the world. Feminine presentation is never a matter of empty frivolity. It’s always, in some manner, a form of transfiguration.
“I make a cup of tea, and I drink it, because I’m not sure what else to do.”
Of course I had to include this bit, who among us has not fallen back on tea in times of bewilderment?
Laura Weymouth is the author of The Light Between Worlds (Chicken House, £7.99). Find out more and read the first chapter here. Also, make sure to check out the other stops on the blog tour!
Lots of Love,