This is an unusual tale of a young girl named Artemis who has grown up in a tiny matriarchal commune in the woods of India, not far from Mumbai. All Arty has ever known is her small family group who all have the names of Gods and Goddesses, and who have shunned the real world in order to go back to basics. Having been brought up this way, in a sheltered community where just once a year at Kotta they get Kingfisher beer and Dairy Milk, Arty is wonderfully naïve. However, when a tragic situation occurs, Arty is forced out of the woods to try and get help, and once the secret of her life is out, it’s out. She’s all over social media as the girl who came out of the woods. Events spiral quickly, and Arty sets out to find a woman called Tania, who used to be part of the commune, and who is in contact with Arty’s Mum’s family, back home in Britain.
With such a sheltered upbringing, it’s not surprising that Arty comes into contact with the world outside the woods and doesn’t like what she finds. She trusts everyone at first, then suddenly realises that not everyone is what they claim to be. However she’s smart, determined and resourceful, so can she evade capture from the authorities even with her face plastered all over Facebook and Twitter?
This is a thought-provoking book. It makes you think about how in many ways people are defined by their upbringing, and how difficult it can be to step outside your reality, and face a new one.
I would like to thank the publishers, the author, Netgalley and the Pigeonhole for the opportunity to read this book for free; this is my honest and unbiased review.