Luce never considered herself mother material, but she ends up as the sole caregiver to her newly orphaned nephew and niece, a pair of emotionally-disturbed twins. In this beautifully-crafted novel, Frazier tells the story of three broken souls who find each other and work to heal themselves. It's a tense, gritty book, full of surprising pieces of tenderness.
I don't want to compare it to "Cold Mountain" because "Cold Mountain" remains one of my favorite books of all time and it seems unfair to compare anything to that. So, based strictly on its own merits, "Nightwoods" is beautiful and haunting. The characters are marvelously complex (especially Luce's father, Lit). The love story is restrained but all the more romantic because of it. I would have given the book five stars if not for the ending. Without giving too much away, the ending (although satisfying overall) lacked punch. I'd been hoping for something more.
I highly recommend this book.