Wendy Darling’s life was irrevocably altered when she and her two brothers were swept out of their bedroom window and spirited off to an island of pure fantasy. When they returned home to London, John and Michael were able to move on with their lives, but Wendy could not forget Neverland nor the impossible boy that brought her there. Refusing to deny Peter and Neverland has fractured Wendy’s relationships with her family and even resulted in her institutionalization in an asylum.
Many years later, Wendy is married with a daughter of her own and trying to finally put the past behind her. Until one fateful night when a boy who does not age, a boy with no shadow, slips through her daughters bedroom and carries Jane off to Neverland in Wendy’s place. Now Wendy must confront the unsettling truths about her past, in order to save her family and her future.
Wendy, Darling was exactly what I hope for when reading a fairytale retelling. I’ve always thought there was something sinister lurking behind the shiny veneer of Neverland and Peter Pan and A.C. Wise exploits that ominous undertone in dark and delicious ways. Decay, death and eldritch horrors replace mermaids, magic and childhood naiveté.
The book had a wonderful cast of strong and empowered female characters as well as queer and aro/ace rep (we don’t see a lot of this so it was very exciting!) I was also really impressed by the way that the author addressed trauma and trauma recovery in a very raw and realistic manner.
Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for providing a copy of this book for review. It was an incredible read that I highly recommend!