If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the kids from Narnia afterwards, then The Light Between Worlds is for you. It deals with what happens after you leave the magical world in which you become a hero. What happens when you return to Earth?
Five years ago, Evelyn and Philippa Hapwell cowered from air strikes in a London bomb shelter. But that night took a turn when the sisters were transported to another realm called the Woodlands. In a forest kingdom populated by creatures out of myth and legend, they found temporary refuge.
When they finally returned to London, nothing had changed at all—nothing, except themselves.
Now, Ev spends her days sneaking into the woods outside her boarding school, wishing for the Woodlands. Overcome with longing, she is desperate to return no matter what it takes.
Philippa, on the other hand, is determined to find a place in this world. She shields herself behind a flawless exterior and countless friends, and moves to America to escape the memory of what was.
But when Evelyn goes missing, Philippa must confront the depth of her sister’s despair and the painful truths they’ve been running from. As the weeks unfold, Philippa wonders if Ev truly did find a way home, or if the weight of their worlds pulled her under.
The Light Between Worlds is this immersive walk through a snow lit woods in the dead of winter. There’s this tranquil beauty juxtaposed with this almost ominous silence. And, in the true nature of night, you’re not sure when it will become a shadow. Throughout there are these memories of the Woodlands which are both terrifying, but also intoxicating. You feel Evelyn’s desire, the pull of the shadows and we share the lingering hope of return.
There’s so much character development within The Light Between Worlds that the plot slowly pulls you in. We are with Evelyn as she tries to scrape her life together, forever changed by her past. Through the ups and downs, the failed attempts. And we feel her pain, at returning back to a world she wanted no part of, and can never truly belong to.
Each subsequent Woodlands chapter show illustrates more and more the differences in her life in our world. The ways in which Evelyn was always different. And throughout her perspective, we can feel the hope in her body, the spirit within her, longing – a feeling deep, intense, and unending – which calls us home. Evelyn’s feet are in two places. When they have only ever really belonged in one.
When the narrative finally switches to Philippa, I realized I was into this book for the long haul. The relationships between the three siblings is tender, but the relationship between Philippa and Evelyn is fragile. It’s full of those cutting silences, those unsaid words that only two sisters share. As we find out about Philippa, how she has handled the change, and her sister, we can fill in the cracks. The secrets of what happened between them.
The Light Between Worlds is emotional, wistful, tender, and spiritual. It’s a book about the confusing and loving relationship of sisterhood, guilt, and the remnants of trauma. At the same time, The Light Between Worlds asks us what makes a hero, and how do we honor our promises.