Forest of Whispers by Jennifer Murgia

Forest of Whispers - Jennifer Murgia

What a wonderful trip back through time, for now its 1627 and we’re in the Black Forest of Bavaria. Rune, 16 lives with Matilde in the forest, a line of hedges separates the forest from the village keeping the evil spirits out of the village and keeping the villagers safe. Rune knows what the villagers think of her and the woman who has raised her like a daughter, yet these are the same individuals who come to Matilde for tonics and potions in their time of need. Matilde is a witch, someone they fear yet they secretly need her. The fear of The Plague is near and everyone is on edge. In times of desperation, the villagers use Matilde, as their excuse for their troubles that surround them. What will the future hold for Rune and Matilde? Rune is scared of living without Matilde for she knows nothing of the skills Matilde possessed, how will she ever learn them? I lived this novel more than I read it, I felt for Rune as she experienced the struggles within the village and in the forest as the villagers fought them, such hatred. To hear the accusations, the scuffle, I swear I seen the faces of the individuals whose lives were being affected affect and then I remembered I was in 1627.   Rune calls upon the Sacred Mother and the four corners of the earth to help her and I was pleading with her for someone to give her a sign, an answer to guide her. It was all too real. Laurentz is another main character in the book whose story runs parallel to the story of Rune. Laurentz happens upon Rune in the village and later their stories intertwine when he gets emotional over Rune’s situation and he believes Rune can assist him. Laurentz is also struggling with his own identity when all he needs to do is to be himself, I feel. This book was more than I expected. These two teens faced more challenges and exciting discoveries before their fight was finished in the end. I don’t remember when I have read my last book dealing with witches but after reading this one, I really feel that I have been missing something.

 

“I am too afraid to look into his eyes. All I can think of is how he doesn’t fit here. He is too formal to be standing in the forest with me. He is too perfect to blend in with the wild while I stand in a dirty, damp dress, my eyes swollen from my tears. We are as different as two worlds. But what is strangers still is how he doesn’t appear to notice it as I do.”