Top positive review
Not quite Mists, but ended extremely well
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2018
I loved, loved, loved "Mists of Avalon," as can be read in my review for that book. Hoping for the same level of storytelling and "Goddess-ness," I picked up "The Forest House." The quick summary is that "Forest House" does not have the same level of tension and intrigue that I felt "Mists" has. There were some plot points that made me wonder why they were written at all. Some character development was lush, only for those characters not to play a major part in the story. There were events that I wish were expanded greatly but were rather condensed and some events that were explained in great detail, but didn't contribute appreciably to the outcome of the story. Halfway through, I felt disappointed with "Forest House," but certainly intended to read to the end.
Having given my criticisms, there were also two parts that captured the intensity that I felt "Mists" possesses and, therefore, make "Forest House" absolutely worth reading. One was an initiation ceremony that was so beautifully done that I still think about the imagery in it. The other part is the ending - the last 30 pages or so. The tension that seemed lacking suddenly ratcheted up and the purpose of the story became clear. There is very little resolution in this story, sort of like "The Empire Strikes Back," which stands on its own as a sort of coming-of-age story, but is best seen in context of the real resolution of "The Return of the Jedi." On a grander scale, however, the ending of "Forest House" also demonstrates how the characters - all of us, really - play roles in the purpose of the Universe. The Goddess doesn't forget about us and let us founder for no reason. What seems trivial could have a far-reaching consequence, even if you don't understand it in this life. I'm currently reading "Lady of Avalon," which is showing the consequences of "Forest House" that ultimately lead into "Mists."
"The Forest House" is definitely worth reading. There is beauty in the author's writing that cannot be missed. But expect to need to read the next book for satisfaction. If you've enjoyed "Mists," seeing the story to its conclusion is the right thing to do, anyway. We could all use more Goddess in our lives.