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Thirty-nine, divorced, jobless: Benedick Hunter is going nowhere, heading in the exact opposite direction he expected. So when he comes across a children’s book that his mother, Laura, wrote, he decides that her life and work – haunting stories replete with sinister woods, wicked witches and brave girls who battle giants – hold the key to finding out why his own life is such a mess.

Setting out to discover why Laura killed herself when he was six, Benedick travels to the US. As he grows more obsessed with what happened to his mother, Benedick enters into a dark wood – one that is both hilariously real and terrifyingly psychological. Dark humorous and inventive, In a Dark Wood casts light on the nature of depression, genius and of the healing power of storytelling.

Reviews

Amanda Craig's fourth novel is set in the modern world, but this absorbing, often dreamlike story gets its structure and its emotional clout straight from the Brothers Grimm...But the dark wood is metaphorical as well as real. When we recognize that Benedick's growing sense of invincibility - ''The world yielded before me now like water'' - signals not a questing hero's confidence but the onset of clinical mania, Craig has made us see how bipolar illness feels from the inside
New York Times