Monday, June 16, 2014

The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White

Strange situations, strange characters, lots of secrets, and a small town.

QUALITIES OF WOOD has all of the above and more.  It mainly includes a beautiful, flowing writing style ​and an interesting​ storyline. The author masterfully keeps you wondering about the makeup of ​each character and the secrets that you know they are keeping.​

You will follow the main characters, Vivian and Nowell, through their present lives as well as their pasts.  As Vivian and Nowell settle into a family home they are going to renovate and as they ​meet their neighbors, Vivian questions Nowell's past as well as the neighbors' pasts.

You will also get a glimpse into Vivian's teenage years as the author takes you back and forth in time.  This was well done by having the flashback trigger something in Vivian's mind at the current moment and connect it to her past.​

Does this small town have secrets they keep from each other?  Do the neighbors really know each other? What was it that happened years ago that has everyone suspicious of each other?

Throughout the book there is a tension that the author perfectly conveys through her amazing writing style.  The characters all seem to get along, but you feel something isn't right. The way Ms.White can make you feel the fright, the tension, the distrust, the betrayal, and the sneaking, ulterior motives going on is excellent.  ​

THE QUALITIES OF WOOD​ is a subtle thriller and a book you won't want to read if you are alone or at night.  I became complete​l​y engrossed in the characters and the storyline. I imagine you will  do the same and try to figure out what’s behind each character.

The ending sort of wrapped up the plot, but there was something that didn’t satisfy me.  Regardless, it was a great read and a great debut novel. 4/5

I received a copy of this book from the publisher free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.​

Have you read QUALITIES OF WOOD?  

What did you think?


  1. A strange title, but a great subtle thriller.

    THANKS for stopping by.

  2. You are the second blogger who mentions not to read this if you are alone at night!

  3. LOL, Laura.

    It was good and will make you lock everything up. :)

  4. I haven't read this one, but it's on my list. I don't mind reading scary books alone or at night. Stephen King is my all time favorite author, and you can't get much scarier than him.

  5. Oh my...I will NOT read Stephen King.

    It is NO WAY that kind of scary.

    I hope you enjoy the book if you read it.

    Thanks for stopping, Vicki.