These Silent Woods: by Kimi Cunningham Grant
The book felt like a blonde roast cup of coffee where I needed the darkest roast available. I give it a three out of five.
Synopsis of book
No electricity, no family, no connection to the outside world. Cooper and his young daughter, Finch, have lived in isolation in a remote cabin in the northern Appalachian woods for eight years. And that’s exactly how Cooper wants it because he has a lot to hide. Finch has been raised on the books filling the cabin’s shelves and the beautiful but brutal code of life in the wilderness. But she’s starting to push back against the sheltered life Cooper has created for her—and he’s still haunted by the painful truth of what it took to get them there.
The only people who know they exist are a mysterious local hermit named Scotland and Cooper’s old friend, Jake, who visits each winter to bring them food and supplies. But this year, Jake doesn’t show up, setting off an irreversible chain of events that reveals how precarious their situation is. Suddenly, the boundaries of their safe haven have blurred—and when a stranger wanders into their woods, Finch’s growing obsession with her could put them all in danger. After a shocking disappearance threatens to upend the only life Finch has ever known, Cooper is forced to decide whether to keep hiding—or finally face the sins of his past.
Vividly atmospheric and masterfully tense, These Silent Woods is a poignant story of survival, sacrifice, and how far a father will go when faced with losing it all.
I stuck with this book because I was intrigued to find out the terrible thing Cooper had done that warranted getting off the grid with his infant daughter. When it was finally revealed, I was disappointed.
I needed something a little stronger to believe that someone would go to the lengths Cooper did to protect his family. The book felt like a blonde roast cup of coffee where I needed the darkest roast available for me to buy what the author was selling.
Having Cooper as a distraught parent suffering from PTSD rather than a monster was better suited to have the readers empathizing with Cooper. His fleeing from the world would be understandable, and the reader could forgive Cooper for his sins. I, however, do not feel Cooper’s reasons warranted his exile with his infant daughter.
The ending felt rushed. The reason for the sacrifice made by one of the characters seemed unfinished. It left me just shaking my head and thinking, “Really?”
While I love a “not so fairy tale” ending in a book, if Cooper thought this thing he did was so terrible that he had to hide in the remote wilderness and have someone bring him supplies once a year so he would not get caught, he should have owned up and paid the price.