Author: Katrina Monroe
Date of Publication: 20th October 2016
Synopsis: The granddaughter of Wendy Darling meets Peter Pan and ends up in Neverland – however in this version Wendy is controlling and cold and Peter is a monster.
This book was provided in exchange for a fair review. My thanks go to Katrina Monroe, Red Adept Publishing and Netgalley for the opportunity!
Very few dark re-tellings actually live up to the dark part for me. Let me warn you now; All Darling Children is dark. It’s brutal and hateful and absolutely wondrous. I’ve never been a fan of Peter Pan or of the subsequent re-tellings. However this not only has done away with my Pan aversion; it’s easily one of the best re-tellings I’ve ever read.
Our protagonist is Madge; she’s a tough orphan who lives with her Grandma Wendy. Wendy keeps her prisoner in her own home, thwarting Madge’s multiple attempts to escape to find her Mother (whom she doesn’t believe is really dead, as Wendy always told her). Madge is a great heroine in that she isn’t perfect. She’s stubborn and headstrong but she’s also inherently good – the perfect combination for a girl willing to do anything to take down Pan.
If you’re a Peter / Wendy fan this probably isn’t the book for you. I always preferred a bad guy so my interest always gravitated towards Hook – who is featured here in a new and interesting way; neither good nor bad but still playing a part. I also loved the way Tiger Lily was written – a brave and fearless warrior who is trying to balance keeping her people alive with the need to stand up to Pan.
This isn’t for the faint-hearted. The writing is perfect; the simplicity with which Monroe tells the story suits the brutality of the subject matter perfectly. However there are some scenes which will probably make you squirm. No taboo is sacred and that’s probably what made me love the book so much. However if you have triggers it’s probably best to tread with caution.
This is a must read for fans of retellings – if not for all the reasons above then most certainly for that ending. Pass the fairy dust Katrina Monroe – because I’m hooked.