Book Review: THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS by Laura Weymouth

Genre: Historical Fantasy
Age Range: YA
Star Rating: 5/5 stars
Series: Standalone

Synopsis:

the light between worlds

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.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.

Laura’s website contains this content warning: The Light Between Worlds portrays characters dealing with depression, self-harm, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal ideation, illness and disordered eating, and the loss of a loved one. It refers to possible suicide, contains scenes of violence and war, and brief mentions may be unsettling to readers with emetophobia.


Thoughts:

This book is such a bitter sweet read, asking what would happen to the children once they come back from Narnia? Having just been on a Narnia movie binge, it was so cool to read a book that gave me the same vibe and asked what the books and movies never really touch – how do they feel coming back?

While this book has the same magical feel as Narnia, it’s very different. The world they slipped through to has similarities, but their paths into it is very different and THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS also is a lot darker. It’s not a rip-roaring adventure stuffed with allegory – it’s more contemplative about the effects this difficult war and switch in location would have on children.

This book follows both sisters, five years back from the Great Woods – the other world they slipped in during an air raid. They fought a war there, spending six years there but only a moment has passed in our world. Evelyn wants nothing more than to go back, and Phillipa has spent the past six years protecting her sister from her self-destructive ways.

I loved seeing their different perspectives. Evelyn is the first 60% of the book, and her disconnectedness came through so clearly. Her sorrow comes through every word, and it was heartbreaking to see her slip further and further into depression even as her friends and brother are desperately trying to reach out to her. Her budding relationship with Tom was so cute to watch, but also really sad. Her half is an emotional roller coaster.

It was so interesting to read Phillipa’s chapters in the second half, to see how their time away, and the intervening years since, have taken their toll on her. Her voice was very distinct, weighed down and full of regrets.

Almost every other chapter was in the past, showing their lives in the Great Wood and what happened when they came back. It added so much more depth to what the sisters were going through and explained why they were like they were. Not to mention a need to know how the war of the Great Woods went.

I was in tears by the end, the mixture of hope and defeat after the uncertainty and sorrow of the book.


Read my reviews of other books by Laura E. Weymouth:

Standalones:

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