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The Witch Elm

Updated: Nov 13, 2018

The Witch Elm is a masterful portrait of a man whose luck and life have been changed forever and then it gets even worse.



What exactly is luck? Toby has alway considered himself a lucky guy. And maybe he is. He has managed to go through life without any misfortune. Everything in his life was going exactly as it should. He has a nice apartment, a great job, and a beautiful girlfriend. And then everything changed forever. One spring night Toby’s apartment is broken into, he is brutally beaten and left for dead. After months in the hospital, Toby is recovering at The Ivy House, his family’s ancestral home. During a family gathering, Toby’s nephew finds a human skull in the trunk of a Wyche Elm tree. The police are called, and their investigation leads back to a summer long ago when Toby and his cousins,Susanna and Leon lived at The Ivy House. But it’s the past that Toby can’t remember. As this new mystery unfolds Toby becomes more determined to find out what happened on that summer night long ago. How well do we really know those closest to us, or even ourselves?

“The thing is, I suppose,” he said, “that one gets into the habit of being oneself. It takes some great upheaval to crack the shell and force us to discover what else might be underneath.”


THE WITCH ELM is an masterful portrait of a man whose luck has change. It is an evocative story of Toby’s memory, his identity and his family. It is expertly crafted with great attention to detail which make the characters come alive. You might not like some of them, but they are perfect for this haunting story. The story was totally unique and intriguing with so many captivating plot twists you will not be able to put the book down. It a complex tale told to us by Toby, whose memory can’t be relied on, particularly when those around him are not telling the truth. It’s beautifully written and should not be missed. The book is a commitment at 464 pages or 22 audio hours, but well worth the time and effort. It’s only after I finished the book that I could breathe again.

Author Tana French was born in the Burlington Vermont and has lived in numerous countries as a child including Ireland, Italy and Malawi.. Since 1990 she has lived in Dublin Ireland what she considers home. She is a New York Times best-selling author of In The Woods, The Likeness, Faithful Place, Broken Harbor, The Secret Place, and The Trespasser.

“Once the fear took hold, I was fucked. I’d never known anything like it could exist: all consuming, ravenous, a whirling black vortex that sucked me under so completely and mercilessly that it truly felt like I was being devoured alive, bone splintered, marrow sucked.”

Publisher Viking/Penguin Audio

Published October 9, 2018

Narrated Paul Nugent

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