Listed as a young adult novel, The Hanging Woods is definitely not a book for the younger, juvenile crowd. Adult situations and language, as well as frightening images fill the pages of this book, though seem necessary for the effect Sanders is attempting to achieve. You will connect with the characters in a way that doesn't come often (the last time I felt the connection was with Liesel and Rudy in the The Book Thief, well over a year ago). Enjoyable, though heartbreakingly so, both young men and women will enjoy this possible classic-in-the-making.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
The Hanging Woods
Scott Loring Sanders has written a novel that is already being compared to the Harper Lee classic To Kill a Mockingbird. Three friends spend the summer together hanging out fishing, swimming, and getting into general mischief. When Walter, the main character of the story, reads something in his mother’s diary that is not revealed to the reader, the boys’ world seems to change in an instant. Troll, the resident homeless man of the town living under a bridge becomes the center of a scandal and then a trial. Innocence is lost, tragedy strikes. The ending is heart-wrenching and will leave the reader with thoughts of this book long after the last page.