The Hazel Wood is totally captivating. This modern day fairy tale is smart, funny, and clever. Alice Proserpine is a heroine I'd like to buy a cup of coffee. Highly recommend and would be an ideal vacation read.— Rachel Watkins
Melissa Albert’s debut novel, THE HAZEL WOOD, is entirely captivating, filled to the brim with chilling fairytales come to life, mysterious disappearances, strange creatures…
Alice Proserpine lives in the dark shadow of her grandmother’s legacy. Her grandmother, Althea Proserpine, was a talented writer of dark fairy tales who gained a cult following before her work, TALES FROM THE HINTERLAND, fell on hard times. One mysterious accident after another has now wiped nearly every trace of her book, and its movie adaptation, off the face of the earth. The stories live on through their fans, though, and, after her mother is kidnapped, Alice quickly discovers that the tales might be more alive than one would hope. In a quest to rescue her mother, Alice tumbles into a darker, more bizarre Wonderland than Carroll himself could have dreamed up: The Hinterland.
An extraordinary master of the craft of writing, Albert’s prose is sharp and lyrical, and her dark imagination knows no bounds. Some of the most mesmerizing pages of the novel are those in which she pays bone-chilling tribute to the classic fairy tale by including a few of Proserpine’s tales in their entirety. As an extra treat for the nerds among us, the novel gives an appreciative nod not just to fairytales, but to a vast array of books, as it leaves a breadcrumb trail of literary references from Vonnegut to Okorafor to Oyeyemi. THE HAZEL WOOD is an intelligent, original, feminist fairy tale unlike any other, with an ending to match. Steeped in both the shining promise and alienating garbage smell of New York City, this book is a Polaroid snapped unawares, and discovered between the pages of a deadly book. It is a crow slamming itself bloody against a window in order to deliver a letter. It is sharp thorns and demented woods, waiting to draw you in and never let you go.— Elizabeth Willis
“If you like your fairy tales dark and spooky, you will love The Hazel Wood. It is brilliantly twisty, with a not-always-likable main character named Alice whose whole life has been one bit of bad luck followed by another. Now her mother is missing, and the disappearance may have something to do with Alice’s estranged grandmother, the author of a collection of creepy short stories with a cult following. Joined by her classmate Ellery Finch, a boy with questionable motives, Alice sets off for her grandmother’s estate, the Hazel Wood, to confront her and to find her mom. But the Hazel Wood has other plans for Alice, and only by facing her destiny can she rewrite her own fate.”
— Jenny Chou, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
A Hot title at the 2016 Frankfurt Book Fair
Movie rights to Columbia Pictures
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice (TM)s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice (TM)s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away - by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother (TM)s stories are set.