These Silent Woods, a review by Amy

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These Silent Woods
Kimi Cunningham Grant
288 pages
Minotaur Books
Available 10/26/21

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“A near perfect book.” That is how one of my bookstagram favs, @kellyhook.readsbooks, described These Silent Woods. I rarely find books near perfect. But this one… well, my friend was right.

Vividly atmospheric and full of foreboding. I devoured this book in less than 24 hours, completely consumed by the storyline and wholly dedicated to the characters. This book wrecked me in the best possible way, and it is still sitting with me, even days (and books) later.

Cooper and Finch live a precarious yet beautiful life deep in the woods. It’s a solitary existence built on secrets. Living off grid has never appealed to me. But the inner look at how this father/daughter duo thrive in a basic, secluded environment allured me and made me question: what do we truly need in life?

These characters drew me in and took root in my heart. Cooper has lived a tumultuous life. He’s a man of character, honor, and sacrifice. But he’s also deeply flawed and fully human. Cooper is immensely reflective throughout the story. We get a complete picture of him… past hurts and decisions in contrast to who he wants to be. The lofty standards he sets for himself allude him, as they would most of us.

Finch is vivacious, brilliant, and utterly charming. Her knack for sharing the perfect Whitman poem in any circumstance melted me. She flourishes in an environment that lacks what we often consider basic needs. Which again left me to ponder: what are our true basic needs?

But even beyond the rich individual characterization, Grant adeptly portrays the beauty of the father/daughter bond. Cooper’s fierce love for Finch is pure and resounding, and her utter devotion to him melted my heart in scene after scene.

The connection I felt to these characters intensified my desperation to know: How can this resolve? I both needed to get to the end and dreaded leaving behind this story.

This book took me through the breadth of emotion and made me deeply contemplative. It will stay with me for a long time.

Thank you Kimi Cunningham Grant, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.

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