Winterset Hollow by Jonathan Edward Durham

Everyone has wanted their favorite book to be real, if only for a moment. Everyone has wished to meet their favorite characters, if only for a day. But be careful in that wish, for even a history forged in ink can be repaid in flesh and blood, and reality is far deadlier than fiction . . . especially on Addington Isle.

Winterset Hollow follows a group of friends to the place that inspired their favorite book—a timeless tale about a tribe of animals preparing for their yearly end-of-summer festival. But after a series of shocking discoveries, they find that much of what the world believes to be fiction is actually fact, and that the truth behind their beloved story is darker and more dangerous than they ever imagined. It’s Barley Day. . . and you’re invited to the hunt.

Winterset Hollow is as thrilling as it is terrifying and as smart as it is surprising. A uniquely original story filled with properly unexpected twists and turns, Winterset Hollow delivers complex, indelible characters and pulse-pounding action as it storms toward an unforgettable climax that will leave you reeling. How do you celebrate Barley Day? You run, friend. You run.

This novel was difficult for me at first. It took until part 2 of the novel to be sucked in and invested in the tale.

I loved the imagery and the full bodied characters that are found within this novel wi the in a novel.

Eamon and his friends enter the island to pay homage to a beloved story, never knowing that there are much more sinister things at work.

The author does a wonderful job at holding the reader’s attention while delving between two different storylines: that of the beloved tale and the terrifying reality. I was very much invested in how the story would end, and I must say it was beautifully done.

I loved all the characters and how they grew throughout the novel. They have wonderful backstories full of surprising twists that I did not see coming.

The author brought subtle hints and imagery to life in order to take the reader through this lovely maze of a novel.

I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

Jonathan Edward Durham was born near Philadelphia in one of many satellite rust-belt communities where he read voraciously throughout his youth. After attending William & Mary, where he received a degree in neuroscience, Jonathan waded into the professional world before deciding he was better suited for more artistic pursuits.

He now lives with his partner in California where he writes to bring a unique voice to the space between the timeless wonder of his favorite childhood stories and the pop sensibilities of his adolescent literary indulgences. His debut novel, Winterset Hollow, an elevated contemporary fantasy with a dark twist, is mined from that same vein and is currently available everywhere.