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Aiden Jones
Aiden Jones

How to Read Into the Forest by Jean Hegland in EPUB Format

- Who is the author? - Why is it relevant today? H2: Plot summary - The setting and the main characters - The main events and conflicts - The resolution and the themes H2: Analysis - The style and the tone of the book - The strengths and the weaknesses of the book - The similarities and differences with other dystopian novels H2: Conclusion - A summary of the main points - A personal opinion and recommendation - A call to action for the readers H2: FAQs - Five frequently asked questions about the book and their answers # Article with HTML formatting Into the Forest by Jean Hegland: A Review

If you are looking for a gripping and thought-provoking novel that explores the relationship between two sisters in a post-apocalyptic world, you might want to check out Into the Forest by Jean Hegland. This book, published in 1996, has been translated into over a dozen languages and adapted into a movie starring Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood. In this review, we will tell you what this book is about, who the author is, why it is relevant today, and what we think of it.

jean hegland into the forest epub download


Into the Forest is a novel that focuses on the relationship between two teenage sisters, Nell and Eva, who live alone in their Northern California forest home. The story is set in the near future, when society has collapsed due to a series of disasters, such as war, disease, economic crisis, and environmental degradation. The sisters have to rely on each other and their limited resources to survive as they face isolation, hunger, danger, and uncertainty.

The author of this novel is Jean Hegland, a writer and teacher who lives in California. She has written three other novels: Windfalls, The Life Within, and Still Time. She has also published essays and articles on various topics, such as literature, education, parenting, and nature. She is interested in exploring how people cope with change and challenge, and how they find meaning and joy in their lives.

This novel is relevant today because it raises important questions about our relationship with nature, technology, culture, and ourselves. It challenges us to think about what we value most in life, what we are willing to sacrifice for it, and what we are willing to do to protect it. It also invites us to reflect on how we can live more sustainably and harmoniously with our environment and with each other.

Plot summary

The novel is narrated by Nell, the younger sister, who is 17 years old at the start of the story. She tells us how she and Eva used to live a normal life with their parents in their secluded house in the forest. They had electricity, running water, internet access, books, music, dance lessons, schoolwork, friends, and dreams for their future. However, things started to change when their father died in a chainsaw accident while cutting firewood. Their mother became depressed and distant, and eventually succumbed to cancer. The sisters were left alone to fend for themselves.

As time passed, they realized that the world outside their forest was falling apart. There was no more power grid, no more gas stations, no more supermarkets, no more communication networks, no more government services. They heard rumors of wars overseas and riots in cities. They saw planes falling from the sky and fires raging on the horizon. They encountered looters, hunters, refugees, cultists, and rapists on their rare trips to town. They had to deal with diseases, injuries, pests, predators, storms, and droughts.

The sisters had different ways of coping with their situation. Nell was more practical and rational. She focused on learning survival skills from books and manuals. She grew vegetables in the garden, canned food for storage, collected rainwater for drinking, made soap from ashes, and built a solar oven from cardboard boxes. She also studied for her SATs, hoping to get into Harvard someday. Eva was more emotional and artistic. She clung to her passion for ballet, practicing every day in the living room. She listened to classical music on a battery-powered cassette player, wore her mother's dresses and jewelry, and decorated the house with flowers and candles. She also believed in a spiritual connection with nature, performing rituals and prayers for the seasons, the animals, and the trees.

The sisters loved each other, but they also had conflicts and misunderstandings. They argued about their priorities, their choices, their responsibilities, and their dreams. They sometimes resented each other for their differences, their weaknesses, their needs, and their expectations. They sometimes hurt each other with their words, their actions, their silences, and their secrets. However, they also supported each other, comforted each other, taught each other, and learned from each other. They shared their memories, their fears, their hopes, and their joys. They realized that they were not only sisters, but also friends, partners, and soulmates.

The novel ends with a dramatic and symbolic event that marks the sisters' transition from childhood to adulthood, from dependence to independence, from civilization to wilderness. They decide to leave their house and move deeper into the forest, where they hope to find a new home and a new life. They burn down their house with all their belongings inside, except for a few essentials that they carry in backpacks. They walk into the forest, holding hands, following a deer trail.

The main themes of the novel are survival, sisterhood, identity, and nature. The novel explores how the sisters survive not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in a hostile and changing world. It shows how the sisters develop a strong and complex bond that sustains them through hardship and loss. It examines how the sisters define themselves and their values in relation to their past and their present, their culture and their environment, their dreams and their realities. It celebrates how the sisters embrace nature as a source of beauty, wisdom, and inspiration.


The novel is written in a simple and elegant style that reflects Nell's voice and personality. The tone is calm and introspective, but also tense and suspenseful. The language is clear and precise, but also poetic and metaphorical. The sentences are short and direct, but also varied and rhythmic. The paragraphs are well-structured and coherent, but also flexible and adaptive.

The novel has many strengths that make it a compelling and memorable read. One of them is the characterization of the sisters, who are realistic and relatable, but also unique and remarkable. They have flaws and virtues, strengths and weaknesses, hopes and fears. They grow and change, but also stay true to themselves. They are individuals, but also complements. Another strength is the setting of the forest, which is vividly described and richly imagined. It is a place of beauty and danger, of life and death, of mystery and wonder. It is a character in itself, with its own personality, history, and secrets. It is a backdrop for the story, but also a catalyst for the plot.

The novel also has some weaknesses that might affect its appeal or credibility for some readers. One of them is the lack of details or explanations about the causes or consequences of the collapse of society. The novel does not provide much information or context about what happened to the world or why it happened. It does not explore the political, economic, social, or environmental aspects of the crisis. It does not show how other people or places are affected by it. It does not offer any solutions or alternatives to it. Another weakness is the implausibility or inconsistency of some events or actions in the story. The novel sometimes stretches the suspension of disbelief or contradicts its own logic. For example, how did the sisters manage to survive for so long without running out of food or water? How did they avoid being attacked or robbed by other people? How did they cope with the cold or the heat? How did they deal with menstruation or pregnancy? How did they learn so much from books without any guidance or practice?

The novel can be compared and contrasted with other dystopian novels that depict the breakdown of society and the struggle of individuals or groups to survive in a post-apocalyptic world. Some examples are The Road by Cormac McCarthy, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Divergent by Veronica Roth, The Maze Runner by James Dashner, The Giver by Lois Lowry, The Stand by Stephen King, 1984 by George Orwell, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, The Chrysalids by John Wyndham, Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler, Oryx # Article with HTML formatting (continued) and Crake by Margaret Atwood, The Road by Cormac McCarthy, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. These novels share some common elements with Into the Forest, such as the depiction of a dystopian society that has collapsed due to various factors, the exploration of the survival strategies and moral dilemmas of the protagonists, and the critique of the flaws and dangers of modern civilization. However, they also differ from Into the Forest in some aspects, such as the scope and scale of the story, the genre and style of the writing, the perspective and diversity of the characters, and the tone and message of the book.


In conclusion, Into the Forest by Jean Hegland is a captivating and insightful novel that offers a fresh and original take on the dystopian genre. It is a novel that challenges us to think about what matters most in life, what we are willing to do to survive, and what we are willing to do to live. It is a novel that celebrates the power and beauty of nature, sisterhood, and literature. It is a novel that deserves to be read and appreciated by anyone who loves books and stories.

If you are interested in reading this novel, you can find it on Amazon or You can also watch the movie adaptation on Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. If you have already read this novel, we would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on it. You can leave a comment below or join our discussion forum. And if you are looking for more dystopian novels to read, you can check out our list of recommendations here.


Here are some frequently asked questions about Into the Forest by Jean Hegland and their answers.

  • Is Into the Forest based on a true story?

No, Into the Forest is not based on a true story. It is a work of fiction that imagines a possible future scenario where society has collapsed due to various reasons. However, some aspects of the novel may be inspired by or related to real events or issues that have happened or are happening in our world.

  • What is the meaning of the title Into the Forest?

The title Into the Forest has multiple meanings and interpretations. On one level, it refers to the physical location where the sisters live and where they eventually move deeper into at the end of the novel. On another level, it refers to the psychological and spiritual journey that the sisters go through as they face their challenges and discover their true selves. On yet another level, it refers to the metaphorical and symbolic significance of the forest as a representation of nature, wilderness, freedom, mystery, and transformation.

  • What is the genre of Into the Forest?

Into the Forest is a novel that can be classified into different genres or categories depending on how you look at it. Some possible genres are dystopian fiction, post-apocalyptic fiction, speculative fiction, science fiction, young adult fiction, feminist fiction, eco-fiction, and literary fiction.

  • Who are Nell and Eva based on?

Nell and Eva are fictional characters created by Jean Hegland. They are not based on any specific real people. However, Hegland has said that she drew inspiration from her own experiences as a sister, a daughter, a mother, a teacher, and a lover of nature and literature when she wrote their characters.

  • What is Jean Hegland's next book?

Jean Hegland's latest book is Still Time (2015), which is a novel about an aging Shakespeare scholar who suffers from dementia and tries to reconnect with his estranged daughter through his memories of Shakespeare's plays. Hegland is currently working on her fourth novel, which is tentatively titled The Musician's Daughter and which will be about a young woman who travels to Europe in search of her father's musical legacy.



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