Alice Proserpine and her mother, Ella, have spent Alice’s entire life moving from city to city in an effort to escape from the bad luck that is always right behind them. When Alice’s grandmother Althea Proserpine, the reclusive author of Tales from the Hinterland, passes away at her Hazel Wood estate, Ella decides that their fortunes have changed and she and Alice settle in New York City. It isn’t long, though, before the bad luck finds them again and Ella is kidnapped by what appears to be one of the inhabitants of the Hinterland. All that’s left behind is a page from Althea’s book and a message from Ella: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”
Alice has long been obsessed with her grandmother’s book, and after Ella’s disappearance, she starts piecing together clues that make it seem like the Hinterland isn’t just a fairy tale of Althea’s creation. Along with Ellery Finch, her classmate and Tales from the Hinterland superfan, Alice makes her way to the place her mother told her to avoid. The closer they get to the Hazel Wood, the more the citizens of the Hinterland become reality.
The Hazel Wood is gripping from the very first page and is spellbinding to the end. Author Melissa Albert paints a rich picture of a world where everything changes when you step through a doorway and magic can be anywhere, if you know where to look.