INTO THE TREES by Robert Williams – a book review

In the middle of a forest is a house…

Many people are drawn to the forest, and the house at its centre.

Firstly the Norton family – Thomas, Ann and their two small children – settling into the peaceful retreat of their new home. Then there is Raymond – a shy, awkward man, who seeks the solitude of the woods on lonely walks. And finally, the masked men, who creep out of the trees and invade the Norton’s home, as the lives of these three very different sets of people become intertwined in dramatic and unexpected ways.

Into the Trees is such a great read, initially I was drawn by the cover of the book (yes, I judged a book by its cover) and I picked it up, and soon enough I was drawn to it after reading the synopsis.

The book is about a family who moved from the town into the woods/forests, and then there is also Raymond – the shy “giant”, and Keith – a man who has a ‘short man complex’ who we later on (spoiler) realize is one of the masked men (spoiler).

The book begins with the incident that involved the masked men – the robbery. Then we go back to 7/8 years into the past, where everything began and how Thomas and his family got into the situation they are now in and the events following the incident.

What I liked about the book:

  1. The way it’s written – the author (Robert Williams) has a great way of writing that engages his audience, from reading the book, I could imagine myself being put into the position of each of the characters we’ve met. The characters are also believable, to me they seem real and not just a work of fiction.
  2. Having three(five?) perspective within the book is interesting as well, because you aren’t focusing on only one side of what is happening to the characters throughout the book, and I enjoyed reading what is going on in each of the individuals involved… there’s also the fact that we also learn about each of their past – although I don’t think they contribute that much into the story apart from learning more about their past.
  3. I really like the cover, it’s simple and eye catching 🙂
  4. I really liked Thomas and Raymond, they’re easily likable characters. They both depict what it is like to be anxious and to an extent paranoid of what’s going to happen (Thomas) and how an introvert/shy person truly feels when it comes to dealing with places and situations outside their comfort zones (Raymond). 

What I disliked about the book:

  1. The first thing I disliked about the book is the fact that it was never truly explained as to why baby Harriet cried so much or how come she only calmed down when they’re in the woods – did it have something to do with the fact that the family is relaxed and Harriet could sense it (as their psychiatrist have suggested)? Or was it the smell or general feeling of the forest? I don’t know, this issue just suddenly disappeared – and I only realised this when I was in the middle of the book, during the incident. 
  2. Back stories of characters in a book are great and fun to read, especially if it adds to the story. There were some parts of the book where I found it unnecessary, but that’s probably just me. Like (spoiler) learning about Ann’s old love interest. It didn’t really add much to the plot, just acted out as a filler of some sort to the story to build up Ann’s character and – I suppose, relationship with Thomas.
  3. To an extent I feel as if the ending was a bit rushed, how rash Keith was with his plan to invade the home again and then his sudden death – it all happened all too quickly – actually after taking many things into consideration a few days after I’ve read the book, I just now realise that it’s probably just me because – well, most things in real life happen so fast you don’t even realise that it’s happened… 

Overall, I would recommend this book, and would rate it 4.5 🙂

Thanks for reading,

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