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Review by Lissa Sloan: Wendy, Darling by A. C. Wise

Wendy Darling clung to Neverland through it all. Her memories were the only things that allowed her to cope with her brothers forgetting, their parents not believing her, even the years in Saint Bernadette’s asylum, where Michael and John sent her when she refused to deny what happened. When she finally learned to hide the truth, Wendy kept her secret close. She didn’t confide in her husband. She didn’t warn her daughter about boys like Peter. She didn’t protect her.


Unlike her mother, Jane does not choose to follow the boy who flies in her window. Instead, she is taken without her consent, flown to Neverland, and kept compliant with a drink that makes her forget who she is, her parents, even her name. But Wendy’s logical, curious daughter resists coercion and confusion, knowing that if there was a way in to this alien place, there must be a way out.


Back in London, Wendy steps out her open window, heading for the second star to the right. For seeing her own daughter in her place, she must admit that in all the years of clinging to her memories, there was something she had forgotten. Neverland had a horrible truth she had denied. And now, to save her daughter, Wendy must face it at last.


Wendy, Darling is author A.C. Wise’s dark continuation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan. Through the eyes of its girls and women, Neverland is a very different place, one of shadowy secrets and threats too harmful to remember. Wendy is a complex character, struggling to understand her experience and the damage she’s caused by denying the pain of knowing what she knew. But she is determined to make amends and expose the whole truth, no matter the cost. In devastating, intensely personal prose, Wise stitches an accurate portrayal of trauma and its aftermath into a story of healing and found family. Tender, visceral, and fierce, Wendy, Darling is breathtaking.


You can find it here.


*Lissa loved Wendy, Darling so much she is giving away a FREE copy! Just join her mailing list at lissasloan.com to enter!



Lissa Sloan is the author of Glass and Feathers, a dark continuation of the traditional Cinderella tale. Her fairy tale poems and short stories appear in The Fairy Tale Magazine, Niteblade Magazine, Corvid Queen, and anthologies from World Weaver Press. Glass and Feathers appeared as a serial in The Fairy Tale Magazine last spring. Print and ebook release from The Enchanted Press will be March 26, 2024. Visit Lissa online at lissasloan.com, or connect on Facebook, Instagram, @lissa_sloan, or Twitter, @LissaSloan.

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