The Wood of Suicides
Laurel Marks is a repressed seventeen-year-old schoolgirl. She also has a weakness for older men—most of all her father, whom she’ll do anything to impress. After his sudden death, Laurel is sent off to a boarding school where she latches onto a new love-object: her English teacher, Mr. Hugh Steadman.
Following an encounter in the woods, a flirtation develops between the two, marked by hopeful highs and suicidal lows, on Laurel’s part. Their romance is eventually consummated one November afternoon, in the arbor where they first met. But Laurel’s middle-aged teacher proves to be a more violent lover than she ever anticipated. Like the doomed chase between Daphne and Apollo, Steadman pursues and Laurel recedes.
The Wood of Suicides charts the course of their obsessive romance, and of Laurel’s unshed grief for her father—a man whose absence could be either her salvation or her undoing.
“An anxious, uneasy and despondent anti-romance novel.”
“With her debut, Woollett offers a brutal study of female self-loathing”
“Woollett impressively captures the excrutiating joy and pain of young love, its nymph-like virtue but also sensual power, as body and soul move on their fateful journey from innocence to experience”
Off the Book
“Laurel’s narration is self-evaluating, introspective, and provocative. It’s easy to become mesmerized by this story as the downward spiral ultimately becomes clear.”
“The Wood of Suicides is an affecting and brilliantly insightful book that demonstrates remarkable talent of a young female author.”
Maggie Journal of Live Art
“The Wood of Suicides is an engaging novel that explores a young woman’s relationship with men and with her sexuality, and it is Woollett’s passionate and intelligent voice that gives this book its heart.”