AUTHOR: Meg Shaffer


GENRE: Fantasy

AGE: Adult


As boys, best friends Jeremy Cox and Rafe Howell went missing in a vast West Virginia state forest, only to mysteriously reappear six months later with no explanation for where they’d gone or how they’d survived.

Fifteen years after their miraculous homecoming, Rafe is a reclusive artist who still bears scars inside and out but has no memory of what happened during those months. Meanwhile, Jeremy has become a famed missing persons’ investigator. With his uncanny abilities, he is the one person who can help vet tech Emilie Wendell find her sister, who vanished in the very same forest as Rafe and Jeremy.

Jeremy alone knows the fantastical truth about the disappearances, for while the rest of the world was searching for them, the two missing boys were in a magical realm filled with impossible beauty and terrible danger. He believes it is there that they will find Emilie’s sister. However, Jeremy has kept Rafe in the dark since their return for his own inscrutable reasons. But the time for burying secrets comes to an end as the quest for Emilie’s sister begins. The former lost boys must confront their shared past, no matter how traumatic the memories.

Alongside the headstrong Emilie, Rafe and Jeremy must return to the enchanted world they called home for six months—for only then can they get back everything and everyone they’ve lost.


Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for an e-arc of this book. 

This book was definitely Narnia inspired and you can really feel it in the pages that the author was paying homage to Narnia and c.s Lewis. In a way it was almost a love letter to fairy tales and it was done and clever and craftful way that really sucked you into the story. 

One of the things that I really liked about this book was that it took the tropes and the arcs of a fairy tale and placed them both into a modern setting and into a fantastical one, and I think that worked well for this book. This book was not super fast-paced by any imagination but it worked because a lot of it was based on mystery and character development and a need to set up both the past, present and future. 

This book was charming in many ways and it definitely wasn’t exactly what I expected, and in some ways a less sad bridge to terabithia. That’s definitely The vibes this book was giving me at times. But it also is like a dream that children have when they’re younger that they’re going to be a knights or a prince or a princess. And it really made me tap into my own childhood fantasies again of what it was like to believe and magic and I really loved that part of the book.

The book does deal with heavy subjects but in a respectful way and I think it was very telling how the author used fairy tales as escapism. And finding the magical in reality and our everyday life.

This was a very well written and entertaining book and I will definitely recommend it!