The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange

1919. Henry moves to the countryside with her family, scarred by her brother’s untimely death. Her only friends are characters from her favourite books – until, one day, she wanders into the woods and meets Moth, a striking witch-like woman. Together they form a bond that could help Henry save her family and overcome her grief.


Book website

Book trailer

A letter from the author

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  • Fly By Night by Frances Hardinge
  • Journey to the River Sea by Eva Ibbotson

30 thoughts on “The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange

  1. I found this an adventurous book where I got lost in the story and I could feel every emotion being generally scared for some characters. The twists and turns in this book were lovely and exciting and I loved the strong relations made. The words were woven beautifully into a wonderful story. This was a lovely read.

    What or who lies within Hope House and its surrounding woods? This gripping tale allows the reader to experience a range of emotions that Henry, the main character feels; love, heartache, curiosity and excitement. It is about the closeness of a family and how they deal with new friendships and family issues; centred around the secrets of Hope House itself.
    Olivia P

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book it was very mysterious. My favourite characters were Moth/Mrs Young and Henry. I like Moth because at the end she helped Henry take care of Henrietta’s Mother, she never stopped believing. I also like Henry because she did as much as possible to try and get all her family back together. The description was good and I could definitely picture the story in my mind throughout the story!

    The Secret of Nightingale Wood is a sad story of a girl and her mother kept from each other by the orders of nasty Doctor Hardy. When her sister is taken by the Hardys she realises that it is only a matter of time before they take all she holds dear to her. Alicia

    At the start of this book I found it very depressing but later on I found it exciting and enjoyable to read. I really like this book; it is one of the most adventurous books I’ve ever read. Emilia

  2. This book was really emotional and heart warming. I really liked the mystery of the book and how it revealed things slowly to keep the reader interested.

  3. Great book but it had a slow start but became intriguing and was a great story in the end. It was a very adventurous story and had lots of exciting action. The story is beautifully told and has a magnificent ending.

  4. This book was really interesting as you could feel the characters emotions in every chapter. I liked the big twist at the end with one of the main characters. Amy

  5. This book exploded off the page with feelings of a heart broken family. I enjoyed the mission of Henrietta and following her as she completed it. The characters in the book blended well together, and this could have been a true story. A wonderful read. Harsha

  6. The author described everything with impeccable detail. This added a lot to the book and help structure the story. The characters were also developed very well. I really enjoyed the story and thought the ending was perfect. Daniel

  7. The book ‘The Secret of Nightingale Wood’ is quite a scary but interesting book. It was very intriguing. This book is about a girl whose mum is ill and she travels through the wood and discovers its secrets. I would recommend this book to an older friend as it is set in the past and could be hard to understand.

    A terrific story of curiosity and thrilling adventures. My favourite character was Henrietta.

  8. I enjoyed the Secret of Nightingale Wood and thought it had a nice ending where the family get reunited and mother is healthy again.

  9. I loved how this book was about a child that adults do not listen to. Piglet is my favorite character and I found it quite emotional.

  10. I really enjoyed this book, the story was mesmerizing and very touching. The characters really made my imagination light up and I could picture them as I felt like I was Henrietta. I could relate to them all and found myself thinking about what I would do in the same situation. I would recommend it to anyone who likes and adventure or something touching, it is amazing!

  11. Gosforth East Middle School

    I thought The Secret of Nightingale Wood was a really fascinating book that I could never put down. Only at one part during the middle I found it a bit confusing and I had to flick back pages. Apart from that I enjoyed reading it. I also found it mysterious because there was something different about each character. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone because I wouldn’t usually read this type of book, however I still loved reading it.


  12. ‘The Secret Of Nightingale Wood’ may have started slowly but the as the pace increased and increased it left for a spectacular ending. The book was a well thought out idea that is one of a kind.
    The main character, Henrietta, was a strong young girl that fought against the adults to do what she knew was right. When you thought her plan had failed she surprised you again and again with courage and intelligence. Henrietta should be a role model for all as she persevered against all the odds to save the people she loved.
    This book is my favourite for the plot and the story. Yet I do think the slow paced start was hard to go get through at the beginning.

  13. I thought this book was incredible! The way the author has created suspense thought the book intrigued me but also how through the use of first person for the character Henrietta it shows her real determination and illustrates the love and emotions. This book was different to a usual book I would pick up but I really enjoyed it and intend to vote it as my favourite

  14. This book was completely different to what I was expecting. The cover made me think it would be a very girly book about a traveller family. I found the characters really well constructed and complex and Lucy Strange’s descriptions were magical.
    This book made me feel really emotional in places but in a good way. I would have liked the story to have ended before the last chapter so the ending was left up to the reader’s imagination though.

  15. I feel this book is suitable for everyone, though I had thought it would be very girly! I loved every minute of it as I really wanted to know what was going to happen next.

  16. This is a lovely read as it has something exciting on every page! All the characters are very interesting, particularly the doctor and Moth because they have so much power but use it in very different ways. This story is a truly compelling read. I loved it!

  17. I thought from the beginning that I would enjoy this book but found myself immersed in Hope House and its beautiful surroundings even more than I expected. The author manages to paint incredible pictures without allowing the description to interfere with the plot, which is not something that every author does successfully. Although there is so much beauty in this book, there is also tension and hardship that almost brought tears to my eyes. Almost every character has a fascinating back story, which helped me relate to them and explains their actions. Henry is a really strong protagonist who shows the reader that family is worth fighting for. The decisions that Henry’s father and Moth make at the end seem plausible and added to my satisfaction. This story is still imprinted on my mind and I will definitely be reading it again!

  18. I could not put it down. I found myself in a woodland with Moth, who is my favourite character because she is so mysterious but caring. I liked the title because it made me wonder what the secret was. I liked the way the author kept me waiting a very long time before revealing how Robert died even though I was desperate to know. Overall, I thought this was a lovely story.

  19. Nightingale woods was very exciting. I really liked Moth and the mystery surrounding her. This is probably going to be my favourite. The author made me feel as if I was actually there watching all the events unfold and helped me get inside the characters’ personalities.

  20. I totally loved this book! It gripped me from the start, every character was brilliant and believable and it was a thrilling read! I loved the sense of mystery and the way we didn’t find out what had happened to Robert until the very end, when the whole story came out. My favourite character was Moth because, despite her creepy first appearance, she was understanding and wise. She knew that, however much medicine people are given, grieving takes time and no-one can turn back the clock. All in all I really enjoyed this book and there isn’t a single thing I would change!

  21. This book didn’t grip me at first but once I was a quarter through, I felt compelled to keep reading! I loved the plot, which raised so many questions in my mind about Dr. Hardy, Moth and Henry’s mother. I got emotionally attached to some characters, annoyed and angry with Dr. Hardy with his cruel and unnecessary treatments and the nurse, who didn’t object to them. I think this book has a real chance of winning and could be the best book I will read this year.

  22. This is one of the most enchanting books I have ever read and it reduced me to tears on several occasions! The author established the most beautiful, delicate setting but the description didn’t take away from the plot at all! I felt totally involved in the story as the protagonist, Henry struggled with what was happening around her. I loved trying to put together the jigsaw of Moth and Hope House and got it completely wrong!
    This is one of the most memorable books I have read, and my favourite so far!

  23. I really liked the book because of the description and the characters that were all very different. My favourite parts where when Henry visited the woods because I felt as if I was there too.

  24. This book had a great storyline. The author made me feel very angry at Dr Hardy, sorry for Henry and curious about Helldon. Moth was my personal favourite as she was shrouded in mystery and hiding her true identity. The plot kept me guessing and made me feel like I was with Henry in Hope House and Nightingale Wood. It was a brilliant story and I’d recommend it to anyone, boy or girl. Don’t judge this book by its cover – it isn’t a girly read!

  25. This story was truly enchanting and I found it hard to put down. It contained a rollercoaster of emotions which compelled me to read. It’s a shame that the publishers have deliberately aimed it at girls by choosing such a girly cover because this book can be enjoyed just as much by boys.

  26. I enjoyed this book because it was exciting and interesting. I found the middle section slow, but apart from that it was very good. My favourite part was when Henry met Moth properly for the first time. I admired Henry as a character and thought she was very brave. I really enjoyed the ending because all of the family gets back together again and everything gets sorted out – a truly happy ending.

  27. This is an extremely good book and I really enjoyed it. My favourite character is Moth because she is kind and caring and she looks after Henry every step of the way. My favourite part in the story is when Henry goes to rescues her mamma and Mr Berry saves her. I thought more could have been made of the scene in which Henry goes to rescue Piglet, just snatches Piglet out of Mrs Hardy’s arms and runs off but, apart from that, I really enjoyed the book.

  28. I liked the happy ending and knowing that everything was going to turn out all right. I really enjoyed the part when Henrietta goes into the mental asylum and gets her Mother back. I thought the description of Moth and where she was living was great. I liked how Henrietta’s imagination could conjure up her dead brother Robert when she needed him the most. It was so sad that the last thing Henrietta said to Robert before he died was that he should be in bed too.

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