For those that lived there, Neverland was a children’s paradise. No rules, no adults, only endless adventure and enchanted forests – all led by the charismatic boy who would never grow old.
But Wendy Darling grew up. She left Neverland and became a woman, a mother, a patient, and a survivor. Because Neverland isn’t as perfect as she remembers. There’s darkness at the heart of the island, and now Peter Pan has returned to claim a new Wendy for his lost boys…
Wendy, Darling is a dark re-imagining of what happened to Wendy after Neverland. It is wonderful gripping read and a really interesting spin off of the classic story. This compelling book had me hooked from the start and it was almost impossible to put down. The tale is definitely a dark one and we see the hardships and tragedies Wendy endured after returning from Neverland. She did not have an easy time of it, no one believed her stories and her brothers had no recollection of what had happened. Eventually, thought to be quite disturbed, she was committed to an asylum where she had a turbulent and quite horrific time.
The now grown up Wendy Darling is married and has a young daughter called Jane. Wendy never forgot Neverland and didn’t stop thinking about Peter Pan. One night he makes an appearance, hovering ghost-like at her daughter’s bedroom window. He kidnaps Jane and the story subsequently follows Wendy’s quest to get her back. Neverland is now a sinister and chilling place with death, monsters and other such horrors and quite different from the place Wendy experienced years ago. The narrative alternates between Wendy and Jane, the pacing is perfect and there is a present and past timeline filling in the background history along the way.
I loved the way the author portrayed the characters, they are a complete turnaround from the original tale. Peter is not cast in a good light and comes across as decidedly creepy, he is harbouring a dangerous secret and the author does an amazing job of creating an uneasy feeling whenever he is around. The new fearsome and strong Wendy is brilliant. She is extremely resilient and somehow withstood the awful abuse she suffered during her time in the asylum.
This is certainly not the fairytale we are familiar with but I loved its dark and menacing atmosphere. It’s an wonderfully haunting story, which has been beautifully and vividly written. It’s fast-paced and action-packed and extremely hard to put down. Certainly one to read if you are a fan of dark and twisty re-tellings and spin-offs.
Publication Date (UK): 1 June 2021
Page Count: 336
Genre: Fantasy/Fairytale Re-telling
Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊