Whatever I write in my review for this novel, quadruplet it. I cannot write down in words just how fantastic this novel was. This novel was about bullying, it was about lying, it was about love, it was about maturing and it was about family. It was a novel that I hugged when I was finished reading it as I loved it so. It tore at me and made me swear, it made me laugh and made me cry. It made me feel cocky at times, swaying back and forth in my chair as I read with a smug expression on my face. Lauren Wolk’s writing was spectacular; I was suddenly whisked back through time and positioned in 1943. I have never been to Wolf Hollow yet I feel that I have lived there and I know my way down the hollow to the school yard, I know my way around the barn, and I know what is outside the trees just behind the house. The hollow was a peaceful place where folks could wander and enjoy life.
Betty moved in with her grandparents and with Betty came her attitude and her mean streak. She bullied Annabelle from day one, out on path to school and inside the one-room schoolhouse. Annabelle tries to please her but there was no pleasing Betty so she hits Annabelle. Afraid, Annabelle tries her best to avoid her and she keeps what Betty does, a secret. Betty is attracted to Andy, who comes to school sporadically and this seems to take some of the attention off Annabelle. The two of them, Betty and Andy, begin to hang out, whispering and leaving Annabelle alone for the time being. Out for recess, Annabelle’s best friend has an incident that has her rushed off to the doctor. Fingers are being pointed around for who caused this commotion and lies are being told. The novel takes off as Annabelle finally reveals to her parents how Betty has been bullying her and individual’s tones are now changing. The novel intensifies as more incidents occur in Wolf Hollow, people are being blamed and individuals try to play the innocent victim. Lies are falling out of people’s mouths, people are accused based on their past history and someone needs to get the facts together because it’s tearing too many people apart. I loved how I knew some of the facts by listening to Annabelle but some of the information she was still obtaining as I read along. She had her own opinions on who was causing all this commotion and she didn’t want it to be someone that she loved. She wanted to get to the heart of the matter and solve it because she realized the harm that the lies and the incidents were doing to the people of the town. Annabelle was a smart child, she didn’t want to make herself a hero, she just wanted closer and she wanted peace. Such a wonderful story that I wouldn’t put down; I read it in one afternoon.