The Secret of Nightingale Wood

1919. Henry has moved to the countryside with her parents and her baby sister, Piglet – all still scarred by the death of her brother. Alone in her head, she begins to explore her surroundings, encouraged by her only friends – characters from her favourite books.

Nobody much notices when she wanders into the woods at the bottom of the garden and meets Moth, a striking witch-like woman. Together they form a bond that could help Henry save her family.

Reviews

Go for it!

This is a beautiful story which is like a modern fairytale.  My favourite character is Henrietta because she's curious and adventurous, like me!  I liked this book because it's very interesting and quite creepy.  I learnt to always be confident and go for it!

Phoebe, Surrey

You get emotionally attached to the characters

The Secret of Nightingale Wood was my favourite book because it shows the bond between Henrietta and Roberta.  I found this story really moving because it shows how Henrietta would do anything to get her family back.  I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to get emotionally attached to the characters.  I didn't want to put this book down because I wanted to know what happened to the family.  I would also say that it's an adventure book because it is about the epic journey and the amazing risks that Henrietta takes to save her family.

Eliose, West Sussex

Things go from bad to worse

This book is set in 1919 and is about Henrietta, whose brother died last summer and whose mother is mentally ill.  The family moves to Hope House, in search of a fresh start, but things go from bad to worse.  I would recommend this book to people who enjoy discovering mysteries beneath the surface.  The tension of uncovering what will happen to Henrietta's mother and sister; if Doctor Hardy will be defeated, and how things will turn out, kept me turning the pages until the very end.

Anya, West Sussex

Mysterious and quite sad in parts

Henrietta, her younger sister and her parents move to the countryside hoping for a fresh start after the tragedy in London, however, things start to go wrong.  This book was so well written, I was intrigued the whole way through!  I am so glad I read this book.  It was mysterious, spooky and quite sad in parts.  It's definitely worth ready.

Jemima, Surrey

How can a fresh start be a good start?

How can a fresh start be a good start?  Not when Father is away, Mama is ill and locked in her room, Nanny Jane doesn't care and your sister is taken away to live with a doctor's family, who thinks you're going mad.  I would recommend this book because it just shows things don't need to go right at the start for them to be right in the end.

Ella, Surrey

Magical and mesmerising

The Secret of Nightingale Wood is a beautifully written novel set in the Victorian era.  I love the way it’s in first person because you hear the inside thoughts and feelings of Henrietta. The imagery Lucy uses is so wonderful magical and mesmerising, “her voice crackled like the flame and I couldn’t tell if it was angry or sad.” I also like the way Lucy makes Henrietta feel alone at times but sometimes one person is enough company. When Henrietta and Moth are in the woods, they listen to the nightingale sing. Even though it seems unimportant, it brings happiness to Henrietta who’s in need of it.

Sofia, West Sussex

This girl took action

This book is about a girl whose mother is sick.  Her father goes away and her mother is taken by a doctor.  My favourite part is when she meets Moth in the woods and they become friends.  I like this book because I love how she feels the doctor was wrong.  This girl took action rather than whining or complaining.

Millie, Kent

Keeps you captivated

This book keeps you captivated and makes you want to read more.  It is about a girl saving her family.  My favourite part in the book is when Hen meets Moth and they become really good friends.

I really liked this book because it is interesting and exciting.  It makes you want to read on and on.

Amelie, Surrey

Gripping, thrilling and action packed

On their first day Hen could see smoke and was angry that someone had lit a fire in their forest. Hen spent the days reading books on a rug outside. One day she saw a ghost of Robert and he told her to go to the forest and see what the fire was. She said she would do it the next day. However that night she went in and she saw a witch. The next day The Witch’s cat came and led her to The Witch. Her real name was Moth. Dr Hardy (the evil doctor) wanted to put Hen’s mother in Helldon (a special hospital) and wanted to take Piglet to be looked after by Mrs Hardy.  Can Moth and Hen save her mother and Piglet?

I like the story because it is gripping, thrilling and action packed.  My favourite character is Henrietta (Hen) because she is determined and will never give up. She can’t be beaten by anyone.  I would recommend this story to adventurous boys and girls who are determined and never give in.

Jennifer, Surrey

A beautiful book

This book is about Henrietta’s family, who have fallen apart and she has to put all the pieces of her family back together again.

I really enjoyed this book because there were lots of really good descriptions of the characters and places and the author used lots of synonyms to help the reader picture what she was describing. Also the weather created the atmosphere for what was happening at that point in the book: a storm meant something bad or sad; a beautiful sunny day meant something good or happy. Another thing I really liked was that the names of the places and people really suited what they were like.

Throughout the whole book there were always little threads of the story to find out, and that added to the wonder and I wanted to keep reading it until the whole story was figured out. It is a beautiful book and a really good read.

Izzy, Surrey

You could relate to it as a child

Henry's mother is very ill so their family move to Hope House.  On the first night, Henry spots several plumes of smoke coming from the woods at the bottom of the garden.  She later finds out that there's someone living in the woods!

I thought The Secret of Nightingale Wood was a really good book.  Lucy Strange put in certain details into the book that you can relate to as a child, such as when Henry has found Mrs Young and no one believes her.  Most children will have gone through this, so you can sympathise with her.

Olivia, Surrey

An absolute page turner

I thought The Secret of Nightingale Wood was an amazing book because it always left you on cliff hangers, wanting to read on.  I love the idea of the last owner living in the woods of their own house.  When Henry first met Moth, I was reading really quickly as I wanted to find out what happened.  I was so excited to find out what would happen.  What would happen next?  How would the story develop?

This book for me was an absolute page turner and it was so exciting - I loved it. It is one of the best books I have ever read and I really recommend it.

Belle, Surrey

When you are ill, you need your family more than ever

In this story, two doctors drug Mama and try to make her more unwell. Henrietta wants to help  her mother, so when Moth (also known as Mrs young, gets her a key, Henry does all she can to help. I loved this book and my favourite part was when Henry and Moth had their meetings in the forest, because the author describes Moth’s home so well. I also liked this part because at first Henry is scared but then they build a really big friendship and learn to communicate with each other. This is a sad book, which is a little bit scary. From this book, I learnt that when you are ill, you need your family more than ever.

Eila, Surrey
Lucy Strange

About The Author

Lucy Strange

After studying English Literature at Sheffield University, Lucy Strange trained at the Oxford School of Drama and worked as an actor, singer and storyteller for some years before becoming an English and Drama teacher.
Read More...