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flag 85 likes Like see review. View 2 comments. Mar 02, Fiona rated it it was amazing Shelves: love-the-settingabsolute-favouritesinto-the-woodshorror.
This book bewitd me. It's been days since I finished it, and I'm still mooning about the house like I've lost a friend. It's such an immersive, completely captivating experience. I should qualify that it's doubly so for me because it's essentially set in my childhood; I grew up in the North East UK rather than Scotland, but the language and setting were so nostalgic for me.
But that's not to write off the author's amazing talent; it wasn't nostalgia but some fantastic writing that had me al This book bewitd me.
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But that's not to write off the author's amazing talent; it wasn't nostalgia but some fantastic writing that had me almost able to see these people and the setting as I read. Pine isn't just a study in nostalgia though, it's a haunting book, both figuratively and literally. But if you like your horror overwhelming or gory, I'm afraid you'll be disappointed.
This is a subtle book and that applies to it's horror - think unsettling rather than scary. Because it's a slow build, though, that unsettling nature sank it's claws right in and when it wanted to squeeze - boy did it. There are moments here that had me physically tense, but there was absolutely no way I was putting the book down. Such a great book. Definitely one of my favourites of the year.
flag 5 likes Like see review. View all 17 comments. Oct 07, Liz Barnsley rated it it was amazing. I seem to be on a run of unsettling, beautifully written novels at the moment, Pine is incredibly moving, intensely unnerving and genuinely absorbing from first page to last. The edgy, offbeat prose really digs deep, it is a disjointed, haunting tale that is at turns terrifying and heart wrenching.
Lauren sits at the centre of a maelstrom of adult emotion, her connection to her missing mother tennous and spiritual - meanwhile danger lurks in the forest surrounding her while her father falls apart I seem to be on a run of unsettling, beautifully written novels at the moment, Pine is incredibly moving, intensely unnerving and genuinely absorbing from first page to last. Lauren sits at the centre of a maelstrom of adult emotion, her connection to her missing mother tennous and spiritual - meanwhile danger lurks in the forest surrounding her while her father falls apart and the community grows stranger and more off kilter by the moment.
The setting is both beautiful and relentlessly claustrophobic, the author paints pictures with words and leaves the reader unbalanced yet fully immersed, it is a peculiar talent that held me in its thrall the entirety of the read. The ending when it arrives is pitch perfect and emotionally raw - Francine Toon has managed to write a genre crossing novel with wonderfully gothic undertones, written in a freshly observant way and I loved every minute of it.
Highly Recommended. flag 47 likes Like see review. View 1 comment. Jan 2, NAT. Will I purchase this book based on its cover? Well, you know me. View all 9 comments. Feb 20, Sarah rated it liked it review of another edition.
Pine is written well and has an intriguing premise. I kept getting this particular title recommended to me. It is a slow burner to begin with, folk horror usually tends to be, as it follows a young girl Lauren and her father Niall.
It gives the reader the claustrophobic feel of this small Scottish village and it immerses you in mysteries that su. It gives the reader the claustrophobic feel of this small Scottish village and it immerses you in mysteries that surround it.
One Halloween night, Niall is driving Lauren out for trick-or-treating, when they run into, and subsequently give a lift to, a young woman who appears to be lost and is clad only in a bath robe. After this happens, Niall appears to have no recollection of the woman or that event where they picked her up even occurring. His focus appears to be more on drinking away the pain of losing Christine and wondering what happened to her than on Lauren. She often appears to be an afterthought to him.
Her mother was quite the mystical person, and Lauren takes an interest in that side of her, picking up her tarot cards. People act peculiar and off with Niall at the pub, and Lauren is relentlessly bullied by some other girls at school.
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But why are they talking? And how is it whenever someone sees the aforementioned mysterious women, that they never seem to remember encountering her? However, it did keep the sense of mystery throughout. flag 40 likes Like see review. View all comments.
Jan 28, Theo M. bookswiththeo rated it it was ok. Such a disappointment. The book opens up really atmospheric, and has the potential to be really interesting. And story at its core had a lot of potential. However the mystery element was really poorly written at the end. The entire actual plot only introduced and solved within 20 pages no lie. The prose was SO WEAK and incredibly stilted. The whole story felt really dragged out with so much useless detail, just to be rushed and solved in 20 pages.
What was the point in reading this? flag 9 likes Like see review. Jul 26, Fiona rated it it was ok Shelves: e-bookslife-is-too-shortgeneral-fictionjust-not-for-me. I was expecting a thriller but instead I got a slow burning, not very menacing, predictable tale set in the Highlands but it could have been anywhere. I am gobsmacked! flag 8 likes Like see review. View all 11 comments. Oct 1, Joseph rated it really liked it Shelves: horrordebut-novelgothic-and-supernaturalcontemporary-fictioncoming-of-agemyth-and-folklorecrime-fiction.
It is a community where everybody knows everybody else. Just under ten years before the events described in the novel, a young woman named Christine disappeared without a trace. Her partner Niall and their baby Lauren are still struggling to come to terms with this. Christine might well have recognised herself as one - before her disappearance, she was into alternative remedies, crystal healing and fortune telling. The novel opens on a Halloween night. Other ghostly and unexplained events take place.
Could they be harbingers of an impending tragedy? The disappearance of teenager Ann-Marie unearths memories of a mystery which has never gone away and Lauren - and the whole village - fear the worst.
Francine Toon was raised in the Highlands, and she ably uses a setting familiar to her to create a dark, uncanny atmosphere. This idea is also visually conveyed in the brilliant, minimalist cover. However, there are also some clear differences between the approach of the two authors.
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The result is a gripping, genre-bending book which provides plenty of thrills, supernatural and otherwise. This novel should also be read for this. flag 28 likes Like see review. Pine by Francine Toon is creepy, thrilling and has a supernatural feel to it. It keeps you on the edge for what's coming next but I felt I was dropped into the middle of the story and not feeling which was or what was going on but it's a book you need to stick with just to know and the ending left me with the ' oh right ' feeling and I realized I didn't really care because I needed more of something.
I will definitely try this author again. Jan 2, Eric Anderson rated it it was amazing.
The story centres around the lives of an adolescent girl named Lauren and her hard-drinking father Niall. Christine practiced New Age techniques and magic which is a speciality her daughter Lauren also pursues.
This a novel set in contemporary times but it harkens back to a gothic sensibility where the supernatural blurs into reality. It makes for an atmospheric and riveting reading experience. Read my full review of Pine by Francine Toon on LonesomeReader flag 24 likes Like see review.
Oct 1, Ken rated it liked it review of another edition. This modern gothic thriller wonderfully depicts a small Scottish village surrounded with mystery and folklore traditions.
The opening set at Halloween sees father and daughter out 'guising', on the way home they encounter a women stumbling out of the road. Niall takes her back to their home along with 10 year old Lauren, only to find that the stranger has disappeared the following morning.
Whilst the mystery wasn't entirely engaging, it's both the Scottish Highland setting and the relationship bet This modern gothic thriller wonderfully depicts a small Scottish village surrounded with mystery and folklore traditions.
Whilst the mystery wasn't entirely engaging, it's both the Scottish Highland setting and the relationship between parent and child after the disappearance of a mother that is interestingly explored. It's certainly a beautifully written debut that's vividly atmospheric. flag 22 likes Like see review. Jan 22, Louise Wilson rated it liked it. This story is set in the rural Scottish highland community. Lauren and her father, Naill are driving through the wood that surrounds their village one Halloween when a woman stumbles onto the road.
They take her home with them ut in the morning she has disappeared. Only Lauren remembers that the woman was there. But where has she gone? Then Ann-Marie goes missing. Is there a link?
This is an atmospheric and suspenseful read. It starts off as a slow burner but the pace picked up around the middle. The story is told in the greater part by ten year old Lauren. Lauren's father, Naill is dependent on alcohol and he still has ot come to terms with the loss of his wife. Lauren has an unhealthy interest in Tarot cards and spell making.
This is a creepy thriller that's also slightly mystical. I would like to thank NetGalley, Random House UK, Transworld Publishers and the author Francine Toon for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. flag 21 likes Like see review. I liked this a lot. I enjoyed the writing style, the dialogue, the setting and the characters.
I did think it ended almost quite abruptly, but overall it was a good, creepy, suspenseful read - perfect for October! flag 20 likes Like see review. Mar 02, Indieflower rated it really liked it. An engrossing story set in the Scottish Highlands, beautifully atmospheric with tous of gothic, folklore, mystery and the supernatural. It's a tale of a child not only coping with her father's ongoing grief but her own emptiness at the mysterious loss of a mother that she was too little to remember.
The story feels like shadowy corners and things glimpsed out of the corner of one's eye and seems to almost drip with chill and mist. This reminded me very much of Starve Acre and Devil's Day, so An engrossing story set in the Scottish Highlands, beautifully atmospheric with tous of gothic, folklore, mystery and the supernatural. This reminded me very much of Starve Acre and Devil's Day, so if you like stories by Andrew Michael Hurley you may like this one too.
A great debut novel, I'll be watching for more from Francine Toon. flag 18 likes Like see review.
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Dec 28, Paperback rated it it was ok review of another edition. What was the point of this story? Included in my January Wrap Up video youtube.
Words on a page. Got a little interesting towards the end then it ended. Mar 1, Rebecca rated it liked it Shelves: horrorreleasenewbury-library. What I liked most about Pine was the atmosphere: a remote village in the Highlands of Scotland surrounded by deep forest and infused with magic and mystery.
Ten-year-old Lauren lives with her father Niall; her mother, Christine, has been missing for years and is presumed dead.
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But starting on Halloween night, when Niall drives Lauren out What I liked most about Pine was the atmosphere: a remote village in the Highlands of Scotland surrounded by deep forest and infused with magic and mystery. The dialogue and local slang work well.
I was fully immersed for the first third of the book but then it started to become a slog, focusing too much on secondary characters and a new disappearance case. Feb 26, Brenda Waworga rated it it was ok. and the final revelation also felt meh ?? the villain got no motive. oh well Here goes another beautiful design outside with meh story inside book flag 17 likes Like see review.
i absolutely did not enjoy reading this at all. flag 15 likes Like see review. Nov 15, Melissa rated it liked it Shelves: yikesshe-and-or-they-but-not-he.
A delicious slow burn that rewards the patient reader. I was trying to decide what to read last night and picked this because of the cover - that cover! Lauren gets teased mercilessly by her classmates, but t A delicious slow burn that rewards the patient reader. Lauren gets teased mercilessly by her classmates, but there are some older girls who stick up for her. Niall does handyman work, drinks too much, and often treats Lauren as an afterthought to wallowing in the misery of wondering what happened to his wife.
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Lauren doesn't know if he's telling the truth or not, but he says he doesn't remember the strange woman they picked up on Halloween night and brought home, and he refuses to talk to her about it. And little by little, weird things start happening with increasing frequency: rock circles around the house, a strange woman in the orchard, forgotten once she's out of sight. Lightbulbs popping, dogs barking at nothing, leaky roofs and the smell of something rotten. This easily could've gotten boring because nothing too overt happens for a long while, but I never lost interest.
It's wonderfully atmospheric and I loved Lauren and her cool older girl babysitter Ann-Marie, the neighbors who look out for her and the weird old lady up the road. This crescendos into a missing person situation that had me frantic and a very scary scene in the woods that had me wondering if I should save the rest of the book for the daylight.
Of all the folk horror novels I've read this year, this one was the best. View all 6 comments. Jan 04, Thomas Stromquist rated it it was amazing review of another edition Shelves: book-collection. Brilliant start of the reading year. Flowing, beautiful narrative and a haunting, mesmerising, dreamlike story that just draws you in. And yet I felt like I could not have enough. Great characters, great location and a really great ending. I just capitulated and threw all the stars onto this one.
Obviously recommende Brilliant start of the reading year. Obviously recommended! flag 12 likes Like see review. Jan 19, ThatBookGal rated it it was amazing.
Dark and moody, Pine felt like the perfect winter read, easily read in one sitting.
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At times utterly terrifying, there is an air of unease to the entire novel. I could talk for hours about the Scottish Highlands setting, just this in itself was completley captivating. The snapshot of life, in a small remote village, was perfection.
The fragile and fractious neighbour relationships are explored thoroughly, and its evident just how much small communities in remote locations rely heavily on each oth Dark and moody, Pine felt like the perfect winter read, easily read in one sitting. The fragile and fractious neighbour relationships are explored thoroughly, and its evident just how much small communities in remote locations rely heavily on each other.
You can find my full review on my blog here.
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Oct 12, Mary Durrant rated it did not like it review of another edition. I was drawn in by the cover an expecting a gothic thriller. Very disappointing no suspense and just ambled along. Another hyped up book which could have been set anywhere, no feeling of time or place and nothing much happened. View all 4 comments. Nov 16, Heidi rated it it was amazing Shelves: arc-netgalleyfavouritesread-inslightly-disturbingall-time-favouritesfav-ghost-storyarmchair-travel. This book just came out of nowhere and totally swept me away in its five-star tidal wave.
What a journey! Talk about creepy! From its atmospheric, rural Northern Scotland setti Wow! From its atmospheric, rural Northern Scotland setting to its characters and the supernatural events or are they? that ethereally drift in and out of misty forest roads, the story had me on edge the whole time.
What I loved most about this book, and which deserves a whopping five stars from anyone looking for a spooky read, is that it achieves this seemingly without trying. It took my breath away!
Rarely has a young girl toud my heart this way, and I felt that Toon managed to capture the very essence of this child who is still grieving for a mother she has never known, a mother who has disappeared but is still very much part of her life, in a way no mother ever should.
Is it in her mind, or is it real?
Some scenes were simply so unsettling this word again that I caught myself holding my breath. One particular scene in an abandoned house in the forest had me slam the book shut in shock and fear and make a hot cup of tea to get my courage back before I could continue reading. Prepare to be emotionally wrung out. Caution when reading it at night, because it brought up some pretty strange dreams for this particular reader!
Francine Toon has gifted us with a stunning debut novel that deserves to take the world by storm. I loved everything about it! Thank you to Netgalley and Random House UK for the free electronic copy of this novel and for giving me the opportunity to provide an honest review.
flag 11 likes Like see review. Dec 18, Renee Godding rated it liked it Shelves: releases. She is a very promising author, whom career I'll be sure to follow. This book just didn't work for me What I loved about Pine was the atmospheric writing. An eerie mist of forboding floats between the pinetrees that surround this remote Scottish Village, creating the feeling that anything could happen at any moment. I also ''With all the lights on, there is still a darkness in the house.
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I also think our main character Lauren was the perfect fit for this story. Her characterization was perfectly done: from scene one where she goes trick-or-treating wearing her missing mothers lipstick, her perhaps unhealthy fascination with Christine becomes clear, and remains consistant throughout the story.
The same goes for her father Niall, and it was their characters that kept me reading, wanting to find out what had brought their lives to the place it's at now. It was that very mystery-ct that I didn't end up enjoying. It feels like this novel was a coming of age story, that had a mystery tagged on to it, rather than woven into it natural.
This lead to a rushed conclusion at the end, where rather than slowly unveiling the answers, they are all dumped onto the reader in the final 20 pages. Had this been just a coming of age story, I might have rated it higher, but as a mystery-horror novel it doesn't work for me.
Jan 10, Alice Married To Books rated it really liked it Shelves: alice-reads-adult-fictionthrillerskoboread-in Pine has received a lot of attention from readers and bloggers in the UK, so when I saw it available to purchase as a 99p e-book deal, I had to get my hands on a copy. Set in Scotland, the spookiness starts from the first page. Lauren is 10 years old and while travelling home with her father Niall in the dark, they both spot a strange woman almost ghostly figure yet when they transport her out of the cold and into their house, the following morning changes everything.
When a woman stumbles out onto the road one Halloween night, Niall drives her back to their house in his pickup. In a community where daughters rebel, men quietly rage, and drinking is a means of forgetting, mysteries like these are not out of the ordinary. The trapper found hanging with the dead animals for two weeks. Locked doors and stone circles. In the shadow of the Highland forest, Francine Toon captures the wildness of rural childhood and the intensity of small-town claustrophobia.
In a place that can feel like the edge of the word, she unites the chill of the modern gothic with the pulse of a thriller. It is the perfect novel for our haunted times. Hugely atmospheric, exquisitely written and utterly gripping. It's both eerie and thrilling at once, and had me under its spell until the end. Livia Franchini, author of Shelf Life.
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will leave you gripped and transfixed. Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti. Pinea moving study of memory and loss, is both spooky and tender; drend in a sense of place and yet eerily timeless.
Mick Herron, author of Slow Horses. About Illustrations.