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The Nesting By C.J. Cooke

The Nesting‘The Nesting’ is the latest book by C.J Cooke.

Deep in a remote Norwegian forest, Lexi has found a new home with architect Tom and his two young daughters. With snow underfoot and the sound of the nearby fjord in her ears, it’s as if Lexi has stepped into a fairy tale. But this family has a history – and this place has a past. Something was destroyed to build their beautiful new house. And those ancient, whispering woods have a long memory. Lexi begins to hear things, see things that don’t make sense. She used to think this place heavenly, but in the dark, dark woods, a menacing presence lurks. With darkness creeping in from the outside, Lexi knows she needs to protect the children in her care. But protect them from what?

‘The Nesting’ was a book that caught me completely by surprise. It’s a gothic thriller set in Norway but there is an element of humour in the story from the lead protagonisit which made for a fun reading in this dark story.

The story is seen primarily through the eyes of Lexi who tries to take her own life but when that doesn’t work, she realises that she needs to make a change to her life. Dumped and now homeless, she hops on a train and upon hearing a conversation between 2 friends becomes Sophie, a nanny to little girls called Gaia and Coco in an isolated part of Norway. Settled into her new role and identity, Sophie finds herself loving her new job but finds the house that she’s leaving spooky especially when she’s told to stay away from the basement.

Not only is the story seen from the narrative of Lexi/Sophie but there’s elements of insight from Aurelia who’s the mother of the 2 little girls who had sadly died from suspected suicide. Her insights feature her battle with her mental health as well as living in a forest surrounded by folklore and urban myths. Her husband, is determined to build her the house of her dreams but is constantly faced with issues and pitfalls along the way. The locals maintain it’s down the magic surrounding the land and in the end back away from the project.

The story is an atmospheric and vivid story. Right from the beginning, the author creates vivid descriptions of the forest and the surrounding areas as well the scary Norwegian folklores that make for unsettling but fascinating reading.

I loved the characters in this story. Lexi a great protagonist, she’s witty and self deprecating and fits easily into her role, even though she is making it up as she goes along. The theme of mental health is very prevalent in the story, as both Aurelia and Lexi have their own issues and this makes for sad reading at times as they try to decipher what is real and what is a hallucination.

Beautifully written against the snowy backdrop of the Norwegian landscape, ‘The Nesting’ is a stunning and chilling story that takes the reader deep in creepy folklore where secrets and ghosts lurk and nothing is what it seems.

You can buy ‘The Nesting’ from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops.

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