Babe in the Woods by Jude Hopkins

Babe in the Woods by Jude Hopkins
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Rated: 4 stars
Review by Poppy

It’s September 1995, the first year of the rest of Hadley Todd’s life. After living in Los Angeles, Hadley returns to her hometown in rural New York to write and be near her father. In addition to looking after him and teaching high school malcontents, Hadley hopes to channel her recent L.A. heartbreak into a play about the last moment of a woman’s innocence. But she seeks inspiration.

Enter Trey Harding, a young, handsome reporter who covers sports at the high school. Trey reminds Hadley of her L.A. ex and is the perfect spark to fire up her imagination. The fact that Trey is an aspiring rock star and she has L.A. record biz connections makes the alliance perfect. She dangles promises of music biz glory while watching his moves. But the surprising twist that transpires when the two of them go to Hollywood is not something Hadley prepared for.

This book wasn’t at all what I expected, and that’s not a bad thing.

If you’re going into this expecting a romance, stop right now. That isn’t what this book is… it’s a well written novel about a woman’s search for meaning. There’s a point where Hadley, the main character, describes the play she’s trying to write: “It’s about loss of innocence. When exactly we lose—women, that is—when we inevitably fall into disillusionment and despair. I want to know the exact moment before we lose our illusions about romantic love.”

And really, this book is basically the play, but in real life (for Hadley, anyway).

She’s surrounded by friends and family, she’s smart and interesting and ambitious. But really what matters most to the plot is how dissatisfied with life she is, and how she’s searching for something more. Hadley is 35 years old. And life isn’t what she’d expected it to be. And so, we readers follow her on a journey of self-discovery. That sounds as if the story is a bit dull, and it’s not. And I especially think women of a certain age will appreciate this story more than others.

There are decisions Hadley makes, and things she does, that make me want to give her a slap upside her head. As smart as she is, she sometimes does really stupid things, but … don’t we all? She makes strides forward along with a few back, until she really discovers the meaning of life as it pertains to her.

I won’t say I absolutely loved this book, but I did like it quite a bit. It’s nothing like I expected, or even like anything I typically read. But it was absolutely engaging and real and–even better–I really liked Hadley. I wish I could sit in on one of her writing group meetings or share a conversation over coffee. I think she’d be a really good friend.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thanks for hosting!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.