Review of The Runaway by Claire Wong: The Power of Stories, Apology, and Forgiveness

The Runaway by Claire Wong is one of those books that wasn’t what I expected but that I ended up really liking in other ways and for other reasons.

Review of The Runaway by Claire Wong

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About the Book

(From the book’s description)

Shortly before her eighteenth birthday, Rhiannon Morgan runs away from the remote Welsh village of Llandymna. Camping out in Dyrys Woods, she starts to make a new life for herself. In the woods she finds space for her active imagination–weaving together the stories she loves and memories of her past, including the mother she lost thirteen years ago.

Back in the village, Rhiannon’s disappearance triggers a series of events that uncover the cracks in Llandymna’s quiet surface. Relationships become frayed as a young police officer is forced to investigate his neighbors, and the village’s elderly storyteller hints at a secret that the older generation has kept for decades. But as painful as the village’s past may be, it may hold the key for hope in the present…

Claire Wong’s strong debut explores how human relationships develop, how we change as we interact with one another, and the role of folktales and mythology in small communities.

My Thoughts

When I read the description of The Runaway, I’m not sure what I was expecting. But when I began the book I was somewhat surprised. Rhiannon, the main character, was very well-developed but had a different personality than I had expected. And the description of her run into the woods surrounding her small village seemed a little unrealistic, but, as it turned out, this element of the story was made fairly believable after all.
One other interesting thing about this book was that my feelings about some of the characters changed throughout the story. There were some I thought I truly disliked that I began to feel a little more softened to and others that didn’t seem so bad at first that I really came to dislike. I think these changes in my feelings came from the fact that the characters in the story are truly dynamic characters. They change and develop throughout the story, so the reader’s perceptions of them change as well.
The story of The Runaway almost seems to be a cross between a fairy tale and reality. But it was a story I truly ended up enjoying. I give this one five stars and a PG rating for content. You can find the book on Amazon here and on Kregel here. You can also read a Kindle sample below.

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