"After The Forest" Readalong Day 2

Amber and I are BACK this November for a fun new readalong! We're about to start our monthly discussion for our September Adult book "After The Forest" by Kell Woods!

Our amazing Nest discussion moderator Amber will be leading a fun readalong on our app - The Nest, and I'll be hanging here with you on the OwlCrate blog!

Disclaimer: As this book has been chosen for our Adult box, content,language and themes in this blog post and on The Nest are intended for adult readers over the age of 17. Please be advised. 

Remember! Our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest!

As a reminder, from now on, our monthly discussions will be both here on the OwlCrate blog AND on The Nest! Go check out Amber's discussion that will be full of fun extras!

On each day we'll read a section of After The Forest   on the blog and in The Nest's discussion group. You can find a book club style discussion on The Nest app, and an insider's view to curation and my thoughts on our book here on the blog. 

Just a reminder that this post will be a SPOILER FILLED recap  for chapters 5-8 of After The Forest, so make sure you read or are finished this section before continuing.

After The Forest - OwlCrate Special Edition
photo by : @a.o.tales

After The Forest Readalong

Besties when I say I was thrown for a loop by this Hansel and Gretel retelling!

Sometimes I don't look at the books curation has chose and I have no idea of the synopsis or story before diving in. This one has been so atmospheric so far that I have high hopes. 

The sassy sentient recipe book is the current star. 

Chapter Five

Greta is finishing up her baking when she sees someone outside. It's a soldier and she bonks him on the head before realizing that he's her old friend Jacob, who went to wear five years ago. 

He invites himself inside and shares dinner with her. They talk a bit about the war but he admits that it disturbs him to do so. 

Their dinner is interrupted by a knock at the door. It's the man from the falls. He introduces himself as Mathias and they invite him in to eat with them. 

While they break bread, Jacob prods at Mathias getting to know him, and Mathias prods back at Jacob's soldiering. Jacob breaks down about the horrific things that soldiers did to the people of Prague and Mathias is kind enough to remind him that peace will come again. 

Mathias eventually takes his leave after tasting some of Greta's gingerbread. She shows him outside where they hear the howl of wolves. She's frightened and Mathias reassures her that fear is nothing to be ashamed of. 

Greta tells him that her mother was killed by wolves and then Mathias his leave. 

When she goes back inside the cottage, Jacob teases her mercilessly about her fancying Mathias. 

Then, he spots the book. 

Chapter Six

Jacob begs Greta to burn the recipe book and even throws it into the fire. 

Instead of burning, it bites him and Greta fishes it out of the fire, burning her own fingers instead. 

It's at that moment that Hans returns from drinking and pours himself and Jacob a drink. Jacob argues with him, angry that Hans has let her keep the book. They argue too over Hans's jealousy and Jacob's new status. Jacob stays the night and in the morning helps Greta take her gingerbread to the market. While on the road they notice a woman on horseback trampling the wheat fields and Greta is unsettled when she's stared at by the baroness, Elisabeth.

Chapter Seven

Greta is setting up for the Walpurgis festival when she notices that the soldiers that Rob Mueller had asked to leave were still there. Christoph finds her and tells her that they've been hired by the Baroness to watch the town and he looks scared. 

They're then interrupted by a tiny man in a hamster ball that pops out of a cart all “kiddy snatcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” style, telling the town that the Baron is dead, that the Baroness is now in charge, and she would be doubling taxes for the war. If the villagers can't pay, they'd have to become a servant for her as a Blood Tithe. 

Jacob is confused by this as the war is over and the Swedish army is miles away. He theorizes that the Baroness is using the extra money for herself. Greta is more grateful than ever for the extra help Jacob says he'd lend in the form of money. 

Greta is distracted by a woman who stops by her board asking questions about her background and baking skills. Then Brigitta shows up, eats some gingerbread and teases Greta. 

Jacob had intended to ask Ingrid to dance but instead she declares affection for Hans which causes Jacob to have a deserved meltdown when Hans and Ingrid kiss. 

Christoph finds Greta again and asks if she'd marry him to keep him from becoming a soldier. He pushes himself on her drunkenly until his father intervenes, telling Greta that he's going to take him home, and not to ask him any questions about the soldiers. 

All in all it seems like the worst. Walpurgis. Ever.

Chapter Eight

Jacob doesn't return to the cottage and the next morning, Greta goes to look for him. She searches and cannot find him but then remembers the tree house. 

She notices a small sylvan creature that whispers to her that she shouldn't be there but she ignores it, hearing Jacob's voice. Suddenly a woman stands at the end of the clearing, cloaked in black. Greta is terrified but she climbs the ladder, brushing against nightshade and finds no one inside the tree house. 

Hearing Jacob behind her she turns instead to see her dead mother, Lena, who reaches into Greta's chest to grab her heart. 

It's then that Mathias shows up and helps Greta down the tree. He reassures her and they go to look for Jacob together in town. 

The town is set up for May Day. He finds Greta a space where she can see the whole market and look for Jacob, and then goes to look for refreshments. 

Herr Hueber spies Greta and asks her about her settling her brother's debts. She asks him for more time and tells him she'd even consider employment and the price of a dance. 

He agrees but Mathias shows up and Herr Hueber threatens to have him thrown out of town unless someone speaks for him. 

Rob Mueller comes toward them, saying he will and it's clear that he and Mathias know one another. Rob asks Mathias if he's after “her” and Mathias says that he is. When Mira and Conrad come up to them, it's clear that they all know each other from way back. 

Conrad is forceful with Rob, telling him that he will have to let Christof serve with him and that he should never have let his son get soft. 

Greta asks Mathias how he and Rob know one another and everyone is cagey. Eventually Conrad leaves but not before threatening Rob. 

Hans comes over to Greta, wanting to speak to her about something Christof has asked, but she reminds him Jacob is missing and he leaves. 

Finally, Mathias asks her why she's never told anyone about the bear she saw and she responds that all creatures have a right to live, and that the bear has probably moved on. 

Quotes From After The Forest

I think some folks may be surprised at how many quoteable pieces can be found in our books. We always have way too many to choose from and they're all wonderful!

 Have a look below at Korrina's list of quotes from After The Forest from curations notes! 


  • “Leaf that’s green, earth and air, Protect me, forest fair.”
  • “Darkness, devil, death and fear, Get thee gone from here.”
  • Ginger. Honey. Cinnamon. Flour.
  • The mountain is yours.
  • All the trees in all the forests bent to her grace. The rivers flowed through her veins, and the mountains thrummed in her bones.
  • You cannot keep a witch from her nature. Sooner or late it will bite back.
  • Greenmagic is felt in the heart, and remembered in the soul.
  • There is more than one shade of magic, dearie. A true witch knows them all.
  • I was bewitched and unmade. I was yours, entirely.



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