The Twisted Tree by Rachel Burge
Part ghost story, part Nordic thriller – this is a twisty, tense and spooky YA debut, perfect for fans of CORALINE and Michelle Paver.
Martha can tell things about a person just by touching their clothes, as if their emotions and memories have been absorbed into the material. It started the day she fell from the tree at her grandma’s cabin and became blind in one eye.
Determined to understand her strange ability, Martha sets off to visit her grandmother, Mormor – only to discover Mormor is dead, a peculiar boy is in her cabin and a terrifying creature is on the loose.
Then the spinning wheel starts creaking, books move around and terror creeps in . . .
Set in the remote snows of contemporary Norway, THE TWISTED TREE is a ghost story that twists and turns – and never takes you quite where you’d expect.
I got this lovely book as a proof thanks to the amazing people from Hot Key Books (they’re some of my favourite people, but don’t tell them!). When I first heard about it, I wanted to read it because it sounded creepy enough but not too mcuh (because I don’t really do horror, it gives me nightmares).
The Twisted Tree follows Martha, who lost her eye recently after falling from (pause) the twisted tree (in case you wondered). And since she has fallen, everytime she touches clothing, even if it is just a quick brush, she gets glimpses of feelings or memories from the person who owns the clothing.
So she decides to visit her grandmother, Mormor, who lives in the cabin next to the tree. But when she gets there, Mormor isn’t there. There’s someone else, a young man who likes waistcoats (immediately liked him, waistcoats are bonus points in my scale) and seems to know where everything is, better than Martha.
As Martha starts to get to know Stig (the waistcoat mystery man), the island where the cabin is (and therefore them) becomes more and more creepy, something is out there hunting and it won’t stop, until someone stops it!
Trying not to spoil any further, I have to say, I loved all the Norse/Norwegian mythology woven into this. It doesn’t feel like a stretch but rather as it it belongs perfectly and nothing was out of the ordinary (though everything is). Martha’s “power” is interesting too, and the way she reads clothing was intriguing. The fact that different fabrics/threads show memories slightly different or differnet kinds of memories was one of those little things that make it unique and special. There was SO much detail and care put into this book and it shows.
I had a hard time putting down, and I just wanted to see what happened next. And I loved it. It is a great book, plus it isn’t a huge book (bonus points because sometimes I just want a good read that is a quick read too, and this one ticks both things).
Go buy this delightful frightful book that comes out tomorrow! (Can you believe it? So soon!) I have a creepy/dark read to recommend next week, so I’ll stick to that, since it is a very good one (promise!).