The Stone Forest

James Morgan-Jones
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The 1930s are drawing to a close. On the brink of adulthood, Phyl discovers the Creek, an isolated community stranded between the Essex marshlands and the industrial highway of the Thames, where her life is unexpectedly enriched. But in the aftermath of life-changing illness and the traumatic loss of a friend, Phyl and her sister find themselves abruptly relocated to rural Wales where it is soon clear that the spectre of grief has not released its grip on her. Following the discovery of a cryptic set of verses and haunted by the foreboding figure of a man she does not know, Phyl is compelled both to unravel the strands of past tragedy and to confront an ever more implacable present as malevolent forces gather, threatening to destroy not only her fragile happiness but her very existence.


Based on 3 reviews
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Debbie Somers -
We may think that the past is dead and buried but in this, the third book of the Glasswater Quintet, we see how past events and the lives they affected seep into the present in an unsettling quest for closure. James Morgan-Jones’ rich and beautifully crafted language creates a landscape into which the reader is skilfully drawn and made to care about the fate of characters both past and present. This page turner is guaranteed to leave the reader eagerly anticipating the next book as soon as the last page has been turned. The Stone Forest evokes a world that is real and authentic but disquieting from the outset, with hints of dark presences seeking in the present the redress of past wrongdoing and injustice. The effects of past grief, loss and wrongdoing and how they shape present lives is a timeless theme, explored here with such perception and sensitivity that the reader can’t help but care about and want to understand the characters both past and present. The Stone Forest explores an unsettling world of overlapping time where the past seeps through into the present, changing lives and relationships in such a way that things can never be the same again.
Ada Mournian -
A fascinating book that with rich and evocative language, powerfully transports the reader both in time and between geographical settings. Starting in pre-war East London and moving to rural South Wales as war intrudes, the main character, a young girl on the brink of womanhood, has to face personal tragedy and come to terms with the inevitability of her circumstance as she learns the relevance of myths and wisdom from folklore. Overlaid with this personal story are glimpses from recent history that the reader is made aware of from the prologue, and the constant background of encroaching war. The different regions are richly and vividly described and the dialogue captures the essence of location and the personalities. At times both heartbreaking and poignant, it beautifully captures the agony and emotional turmoil of coming of age during turbulent times. A thoroughly absorbing and compelling read.
Jackie Reynolds -
It was very well written, although it took me a while to get into it, as I did find the first couple of chapters heavily descriptive and the map wasn’t relevant until later in the book. However, once the characters were introduced they were engaging and the plot drew me in and kept me reading. There are subtle and delicate seeds that were planted in my mind that gradually grew. Slowly and carefully the story pulls you deeper and deeper into Phyl’s world, until I was completely engulfed and immersed in her imagination. I was suddenly gripped and always wanted to read more. It was consuming and captivating, unravelling a world of deception and intrigue, until all the pieces fall into place and all is explained. I can’t wait for the next one!

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