My rating: 5/5
Many people on goodreads have been discussing the ending of the murder mystery psychological thriller In The Woods by Tana French.
Some people have found it inconclusive and therefore a disappointment. Others said the book didn’t have closure and for that it was a waste of time.
I, however, have a completely different opinion.
So this is my theory:
Jamie screamed, “I’m gonna stay here forever” and danced on the wall like a thing made of air, “forever and ever and ever!”
This line makes all the hairs of my body stand on end. Because, ironically that’s exactly what happened. Because somehow, either her body, her soul or the memory of her stayed in those woods forever.
I think there was something more in those woods than just an ancient archaeological site. I felt like there was something eerie and alive. Something inhuman and ancient that was watching the children and knew they really had wanted to stay there forever. Something that belonged to the ruins of the castle, the sacrificial altar and the deepest parts of woods.
I believe that what took them was the same thing that Rob almost hit on the road when he was driving with Cassie. The thing that Sandra heard laughing and that had made Jonathan feel trippy the day the children disappeared in the woods.
When Jamie found out she was going to boarding school, Peter suggested that they should run away and stay in the woods until school started. Jamie and Peter were excited about this, however Rob was apprehensive because he was afraid of worrying his parents. On the other hand, Peter and Jamie believed their parents wouldn’t care too much.
“But our parents,’ I said. I thought of my mother’s warm hands and imagined her crying, distraught. ‘They’re going to be really worried. They’ll think-‘
Jamie’s mouth set. ‘Yeah, my mam won’t. She doesn’t want me around anyway.’My mam mostly only thinks about the little ones,’ Peter said ‘and my dad definitely won’t care.’ Jamie and I glanced at each other. We never talked about it , but we both knew that Peter’s dad sometimes hit them when he got drunk.”
So Jamie and Peter didn’t feel like they had anything to loose. They both thought their parents didn’t care about them and that staying in the woods was the best thing to do, except for Rob.
What if, whatever took them knew this. Knew they would’ve rather stayed in the woods rather than go back to their homes and be separated sooner or later. What if the woods themselves had kept them there and only let Rob go because he wasn’t convinced enough. Or what if he had been rejected.
“I think about the sly, flickering line that separates being rejected. Sometimes I think of the ancient gods who demanded that their sacrifices be fearless and without blemish, and I wonder weather, whoever or whatever took Peter and Jamie away, it decided I wasn’t good enough.”