Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland


Fiction - Fantasy - General
269 Pages
Reviewed on 10/02/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Essien Asian for Readers' Favorite

As the depression bites deeper into the American economy Livvy and her family are unwilling partakers in the harvest of suffering it spreads around Georgia. A drought has compounded matters as the family's crop is on the verge of failure and the returns from their store are not encouraging. If this is not enough cause for concern, the bank is breathing down her father's neck to repay the loans he took or face foreclosure. It is not all doom and gloom for Livvy as she contends with the affections of the dashing young Coy Whitaker who wants nothing more than to marry her, or so it seems. When disaster strikes, Livvy must choose between ransoming her happiness for her family's security or letting the dice fall where they choose and embracing the satisfaction her artwork gives her. Only time will tell in Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland by Connie Lacy.

Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland is an entertaining blend of drama, mystery, and romance rolled into an exciting storyline. Connie Lacy combines some of the best elements of suspense in her storyline, giving away nothing of the excitement in store but using little crumbs of seemingly unimportant information to keep a reader's curiosity piqued to the very last page. The characters have backstories that are well fleshed out and their motivations are easy to understand. The background setting of prohibition-era rural America is as accurate as one would expect from history books. This is a novel of top quality, a fictional triumph that delivers on its premise of exciting reading. This is one novel in the mystery genre that readers will find difficult to put down once they start reading it.

Crissi McDonald

In Connie Lacy’s book, Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland, we meet a family in depression-era rural Georgia. Livvy, the family dreamer, is an artist at heart. Through the hard work and dedication of her family, they keep their farm afloat, and food, however modest, on the table. Life is full of hardships and sacrifice, but Livvy finds respite from it all by visiting a nearby forest where her beloved grandmother took Livvy when she was a girl. There, she creates nature art, fantasizing about seeing different places, and being where life isn’t only about survival. One day, an unfamiliar man visits the woodland, and they soon form a bond of friendship. But the odds are against Livvy and her family as unseen forces drive them closer to homelessness.

Much as Livvy does with her nature sculptures, Lacy expertly weaves grounded details with elements of magic. The story has a thoughtful and fleshed-out beginning so that I had a firm idea of who each character was, as well as their personality. Livvy’s actual age was a surprise, as in the opening chapters she seems much younger. By the time I’d finished Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland, I understood that the main character had grown and matured as the story progressed. My favorite surprise - and there were several times Connie Lacy added an unexpected twist - was that the author didn’t write a damsel in distress story. She wrote about a resourceful, wise, and lovely young woman who doesn’t lose her faith in magic, despite her circumstances. The ending is as satisfying as the whole story was and I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with Livvy.

Maria Victoria Beltran

Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland by Connie Lacy is an engaging novel set in rural Georgia in the 1930s. The country is in recession, and Livvy Hopkins and her family hope it will be short-lived. They must pay back their bank loan soon, and the danger of losing their farm looms as boll weevils lay waste to their cotton crop. Years of drought are not helping their dire financial situation. As a young girl, Livvy develops a connection to the woodland, encouraged by her late grandmother, who used to tell her that magic happens all the time - she just has to look for it. Most afternoons, she visits the woodland and creates forest sculptures to escape reality. Believing she’s alone in her secret woodland, she’s surprised to see a horse and rider galloping toward her. Is this the magic that she’s been looking for?

Connie Lacy’s Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland is a romantic novel set in the real world but with magical elements. Written in plain yet imposing prose, this unique love story has more than its share of intrigues. I liked the mysterious character of the rider in the woodland as it contrasts significantly with the grim reality facing Livvy and her family. This book is also informative as it takes us back to the years of the Great Depression and how it affected the rural farming communities of the country. Lacy is a master storyteller who weaves the elements of romance, intrigue, and magic together!