Page Count 400
Publication date September 2020/ Publisher Harper Collins
It was like something out of a fairytale…
The grieving widower.
The motherless daughters.
A beautiful house in the woods.
And a nanny come to save the day.
So what if Lexi isn’t telling the truth about who she is? Escaping to the remote snows of Norway was her lifeline. And all she wanted was to be a part of their lives.
But soon, isolated in that cold, creaking house in the middle of ancient, whispering woods, Lexi’s fairytale starts to turn into a nightmare.
With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi’s fears are deepening. Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care.
But protect them from what?
What an absolutely beautiful read this was.
I truly felt for Lexi the MC of The Nesting. The way she’d been treated in her relationships screams out to remind us of those who suffer with mental health and have no support network.
The same can be said about Aurelia’s internal struggle with depression and either the oblivious attitudes of those closest to her, or perhaps their refusal to accept it.
Despite Lexi never having met Aurelia, Cooke portrays their potential kinship well making both characters more endearing.
In an odd way although this is a creepy thriller, I thought it uplifting when Lexi became Sophie and found the love of those children.
I wasn’t a fan of Tom and I think this is Cooke’s intention. He’s rather neglectful of his grieving children and for a strict vegan he didn’t mind messing with nature to suit his own architectural desires. It’s surely hypocritical to refuse your children honey on account of the treatment of bees(!?) yet happily reroute a lake that serves the wildlife.
Honestly, I think Cooke gives a clever and sly nod to the virtue signalling that’s heavy in society nowadays with Tom’s character.
The ending was a surprise for me. I guess not because it was unbelievable but more because I was so wrapped up enjoying the beautiful setting and invested in Lexi/Sophie and the girls that I forgot to untangle the hints along the way! A first for me that’s for sure.
There were a few red herrings in The Nesting that seemed to be only for the sake of misdirection and weren’t really resolved. One plot line in particular I don’t believe added anything to the story at all, but I didnt give it another thought until I sat to write this review so it can’t have really bothered me.
My favourite aspect of The Nesting was the atmosphere and Norwegian folklore. I love hearing of different culture’s myths and beliefs especially centred in righteous retribution as Cooke has given us here.
This was my first read of C J Cooke and I’ll definitely be looking for more.