You’ve probably noticed my love of retellings, especially dark and twisted ones. When I heard that Christina Henry was working on a Red Riding Hood one there was no stopping me.
Enter The Girl in Red on an apocalyptic journey to Grandma’s house.
It starts with a cough, The Cough. People are becoming violently, deathly sick. Red and her love of horror know the signs, it’s time to get prepared. As more people die, the internet, phones and eventually power go too. Now the government want to round up the survivors in camps to keep them safe.
Red knows that isn’t how it works. That The Cough will only spread if they are herded together. She convinces her family that the best plan is to hike cross country to Grandma’s house in the woods so they can survive.
But The Cough isn’t the only problem. Wolves come in many guises. Soldiers. Militia. Stray survivors who want what you have.
What happens to people when the rules of society aren’t enforced? And when the evil created by people spreads?
I ate Red up like the wolf in the traditional tale. Her desire to protect her family and struggle to convince them they needed protecting are so gripping. The book moves between before and after the destruction, weaving in the memories of Red planning and the start of her journey with the progress and problems that blight the considerable distance to Grandma’s house.
I can not recommend this, and Christina Henry’s other retellings, enough.
Thank you to Titan Books for sending me an advance copy of The Girl in Red to review.