A compulsive, mesmerising and wildly imaginative novel in the vein of Pan's Labyrinth and Station Eleven from the award-winning author of The Girl with Glass Feet
There came an elastic aftershock of creaks and groans and then, softly softly, a chinking shower of rubbled cement. Leaves calmed and trunks stood serene. Where, not a minute before, there had been a suburb, there was now only woodland standing amid ruins…
There is no warning. No chance to prepare. The trees arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground,
transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest.
Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realises that no help is coming, he ventures into this unrecognisable world. Alongside green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb, Adrien sets out to find his wife and to discover just how deep the forest goes. Their journey will take them to a place of terrible beauty and violence, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness inside themselves.
In Shaw's (The Girl with Glass Feet) atmospheric modern fairy tale, Adrien Thomas prefers to sit on the sidelines and watch life go by until trees begin suddenly pushing up from the ground. Adrien walks outside to find England in ruins; the trees have killed numerous people (usually impaling them on their branches) and completely destroyed civilization's infrastructure. When he meets Hannah and her teen son, Seb, they set out to find her brother, Zach, a park ranger, and if possible, get to Ireland to find Adrien's wife, Michelle, who is on a business trip. Along the way they meet Inoue Hiroko, a girl who proves handy with a slingshot; meanwhile, Adrien repeatedly glimpses tiny creatures constructed of forest detritus. Shaw offers a postapocalyptic world where the woods reign, described in lush, evocative prose, and characters that shine. During the journey, Adrien finds within himself a courage that he never thought possible, and Hannah begins to see nature in an entirely different way. It's a coming-of-age for Seb, and a chance to bond with his mother, while the enigmatic Hiroko battles her own demons. This stunning exploration of love, hope, and the wildness inside us all will have readers enchanted from the first page.