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Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite
Lucy’s step-father didn’t like her. In fact, he called her Nuisance. Never Lucy, just Nuisance. He even locked her in her bedroom, not allowing her outside. It was like a prison. So when her step-father took her deep into the woods and left her there, Lucy felt like she had just been set free. Just like the trees and the meadow full of wildflowers, even the fresh running brook – Lucy was now free. She was no longer afraid because she knew that the woods would take care of her. And it did, as did Will, a boy just little older than Lucy, who befriended her and brought her much needed supplies of food.
All was well in Lucy’s world until others discovered that she was living alone in the woods. The police came and took her away. They tried to convince her that it was for her own good. The woods was not a safe place, or so they said. But Lucy knew better. And so did Will. When Lucy was trapped in an orphanage, Will found her and helped her realize that she, Lucy, the Wild Child as he called her, needed the woods as much as the woods needed her.
This story is absolutely beautifully written, tender and compassionate. I haven’t read such a touching story since my mother gave me a copy of Gene Stratton-Porter’s A Girl of the Limberlost. Christina M. Pagès’ Lucy in Her Secret Wood is a real classic, a story that gently opens the reader’s eyes to the powerful connection between humans and nature, as well as the power of music that is like a delicate web that intertwines between all of life. Powerful and unforgettable.