Lesley Pearse on the inspiration behind the The Woman in the Wood

Author Lesley Pearse explains how the 'witchy' vibe of England's New Forest inspired her latest novel, The Woman in the Wood

The shack of famous witch Sybil Leek
The shack of famous witch Sybil Leek

I didn’t want my woman to be a witch, just a little odd, but entirely misunderstood because of that. Added to that I had fifteen year old twins Duncan and Maisy being sent to live with their grandmother because their mother has been put into an asylum. They were bound to be intrigued by someone rumoured to be mad, when it was said their mother was too.

The Woman in the Wood is a dark story. It is about people not being as they seem; family secrets,  and adults who because of the way they were treated as children can be anything from exceedingly dangerous, to merely unable to express their feelings.  Maisy and Duncan have much to learn from all the adults, and danger is never far away. 

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more