Connor and his eight-year-old daughter, Finch, live off-the-grid. They have been living alone and isolated deep in the forest for all of Finch’s life – she knows no different. There are reasons that Connor chooses this life of isolation in the remote wilderness, reasons he cannot explain to Finch.
I love everything about this authors writing! The thick atmosphere, the unique and root-worthy characters and their relationships, the gritty backwoods plot, the unnerving sense of foreboding, the tension and suspense that builds thicker with each chapter. I felt gripped and on edge for the entire novel.
The pace was perfect as the author slowly weaved pieces of Connor and Finch’s backstory into the narrative which seamlessly flowed between timelines. I was hanging on every word. My one teeny tiny critique would be that the very end wrapped up a little too quick and neat, but I super loved the twist!
This book had high expectations to live up to after the last release from this author, Fallen Mountains, which is one of my top favourite novels. I’m thrilled to say that while Fallen Mountains remains my favourite by this author, this comes in a VERY close second.
Well, hot dang, the cat’s got my tongue! With all the hype and buzz floating around, I am unsure what to say that hasn’t already been said. Just kidding, as always, I have lots to say!!!
3 Things I loved
Kimi Cunningham Grant creates an emotionally driven story with a strong, well-developed, believable, flawed, sympathetic character, Cooper. She creates those thought-provoking questions I love to think about while exploring the darkness in Cooper as he honestly ponders his demons.
“sometimes a thing inside of me flashes, dark and despicable.” ~ Cooper
The complex father/daughter dynamics is the heart of the story. I loved the feels I got from Cooper’s fierce, unconditional protective love for his daughter Finch that plays out in an unexpecting and endearing way. Kimi Cunningham Grant takes that overused tired trope “how far a parent will go” and spins something different by honestly blurring the boundaries of what a parent thinks is best and right and wrong. We see something special here as Grant uses the depth of Cooper and Finch’s relationship to challenge some moral and ethical questions around parenthood. Cooper makes difficult choices as he explores what he wants, is willing to do, what is right, what he thinks is best for Finch, and considers the price Finch is paying for his choices.
“creatures protect their young in the most senseless ways.”
Kimi Cunningham Grant creates a peaceful, vivid setting while weaving an unease feeling of suspense and danger to the quiet world Cooper has created.
“Will there ever be peace in the quiet” ~ from the book summary.
3 Things I didn’t love as much
I wasn’t enthralled with the mystery part of the story with Cooper’s reasons for hiding and expected more to his motivation and sacrifices and was a bit disappointed or invested in the mystery around the young woman Finch spots. However, it creates some interesting moral dynamics to ponder.
Grant slowly reveals the mystery and secrets to Cooper’s past little at a time; however, it felt more like secrets were held back from us rather than slowly revealed when we needed to know and when to create suspense.
The ending is unpredictable, but I hard time buying into the motivation of one character, and some characters’ actions didn’t feel plausible—however, the emotional, heart-wrenching climax and conclusion are rewarding enough to push those thoughts aside and go with the tears.
Atmospheric, compelling and beautifully written!
THESE SILENT WOODS by KIMI CUNNINGHAM GRANT is an emotional, dark, gritty, and suspenseful mystery that immediately hooked me in and had me thoroughly interested in learning the truth of why Cooper and his daughter Finch were living in isolation in the Appalachian woods. The story is a heartbreaking one of adventure, survival, sacrifice, forgiveness, and one that is filled with so much heart.
KIMI CUNNINGHAM GRANT delivers a vivid, atmospheric, and character-rich novel here that was intriguing, suspenseful and beautifully written with raw, genuine and memorable characters that you can’t help but fall in love with and root for. I thought the pacing was a little more of a slow burn though until more near the end. This author definitely has a way with her vividly expressive storytelling and her gorgeous prose here is what keeps the reader reading and interested. It’s not all about one thing in this book, it’s a combination of the plot, atmosphere, and characters that keeps the reader invested and turning those pages.
The best part of the book for me was the unexpected and bittersweet ending which definitely touched me and made me shed a few tears. The love between father and daughter here is absolutely beautiful and touched my heart.
3 reasons why you should read
For the thought provoking, emotionally driven story with a rewarding emotionally ending.
For the atmosphere setting that pulls you into the story and dynamics with the characters.
For the depth to the complex father/daughter relationship that opens up some moral questions about parenting
We each received a copy of the book from the author and publisher