The Story

The Illuminated Forest

What lies in the forest will change his life forever.

12-year-old Mateo returns to his grandparents’ island to deal with a family tragedy. From the moment he arrives, a series of terrifying events turn his world upside down. A stray cat with a mohawk, a ruthless town bully, and a lost ghost mysteriously come together and change his life forever.

The Illuminated Forest is an imaginative study in parallels: the fine lines that separate the real and the fantastic, the tangible and the mystical, the plausible and the magical. The novel’s heart is contained within the atmospheric, lush descriptions of the geography of an island that breathes and feels along with the characters. The Illuminated Forest is at times a very human portrait populated by flawed characters trying to find balance and renewal, at other times it is a magical escape into another realm when faith has failed them. The Illuminated Forest is a heartfelt story told through magical realism, a literary work that seeks to delve deeply into its characters’ humanity without sentimentality or trite happy endings.

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