Let me start by saying, this is not a THRILLER. Just like I said for What Comes After, just because there is a mystery and a hint of suspense doesn’t automatically make a story a thriller. This is a solid story with a bit of a mystery at it’s core but going in expecting to have a heart pounding thriller is just setting you up to not enjoy this story, which is a huge shame!
Cooper, and his daughter Finch have been living off the grid in the Appalachian mountains for the past 8 years. It’s the only home Finch has ever known. Now after years of being undisturbed, unexpected events will put their solitude to the test.
I feel that so many stories being releases lately, especially where a mystery is involved, are told in multiple perspectives. It’s was fairly refreshing to read this entire story through Cooper’s perspective. While we’re just getting his take on events, we’re not just getting the present events, we also get glimpses into Cooper’s past and ultimately what brought him and his daughter into the woods.
Without getting to much into answering who Cooper is and why they’re living off the land, he is a deep character. Struggling with PTSD, panic attacks, and coming to terms with some of the choices he’s made leave him a bit of an emotion mess. However, he has the best intentions and always does his best with Finch. I thought the way Grant depicted Cooper was phenomenal, especially by allowing him to be vulnerable and admit his loneliness. He is skeptical and has a high mistrust of others, while warranted also puts you on your guard as a reader. He’s ultimately a well written multiple dimension character.
Grant also gives us Finch, who is the light to Cooper’s darkness. She’s bright and inquisitive. While she shows some natural curiosity around boundaries, she doesn’t fall into the generic ‘rebel against parents’ trope. Instead, she cares for Cooper and for the land she’s living and learning from.
Realistically all the characters, even our side characters are extremely well written. I would essentially say, that this book is perfect for readers that crave deep characters and character driven stories. While there are a few events that are suspenseful, the main theme of this story is the lengths a father would go to protect his daughter. Normally, I’m more of a plot driven reader, but just like in What Comes After, there was enough ‘events’ to keep me entertained, but it was really the characters that kept me hooked.
I tethered on the edge of giving this book 4 vs 5 stars for about a week. Ultimately deciding on a 5 star rating, because I just couldn’t get over how beautifully written this story is. I’m not sure I’m sold on the ending, but I definitely didn’t see it coming.
These Silent Woods is comes out November 16, 2021. Huge thank you to Minotaur Books for my advanced copy in exchange for my honest review. If you liked this review please let me know either by commenting below or by visiting my Instagram @speakingof_books.
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