Wendy, Darling is an atmospheric and beautifully written tale featuring the characters from Barrie's Peter Pan re-imagined by A. C. Wise. Released 1st June 2021 by Titan Books, it's 333 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately; it makes it so easy to find information with the search function.
This is Peter Pan through a very dark lens. Wendy and her brothers are abducted (call it what it was) as children and swept away to Neverland. When they're returned, her brothers assimilate more or easily, a fate denied Wendy who suffers throughout her life at a cost to her mental health after not being believed and ridiculed (to the point of involuntary commitment).
After being released from the sanatorium, she has a daughter and seems to be in a better place. A better place until Peter Pan shows up and abducts Wendy's young daughter. This was a difficult read for me because of the undercurrents of #MeToo and the barbaric treatment of "difficult" women and homosexuality during the early part of the 20th century (and indeed up to the current day).
I have often enjoyed revenge fantasy and this book is undeniably well written. I just found it hit a little too close to home for me personally to be a comfortable and enjoyable read. For readers who always knew there was something decidedly *wrong* under the surface in Neverland, A. C. Wise pulls back the curtain.
Very well written, traumatic in places. Four stars. Definitely for readers who like their fantasy dark.
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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