REVIEW: These Silent Woods
Cooper is hiding. Hiding from the world and everyone in it. His hideout is an old army buddy's cabin in the woods, where he has been for eight years with his young daughter, Finch. There is no electricity, no family, hardly any neighbors, and supplies only come once a year. The less people he and Finch actually see, the better. And then something changes throwing everything Cooper and Finch has built into chaos.
This book was masterfully written. It has deep running themes of grace, family, and love. Kimi writes so beautifully, and paints a picture of both the atmosphere and feelings in the story. I found myself thinking about returning to it every time I wasn't reading it (especially the couple of times I found myself hiking and saw some deer!). While I wouldn't call this a "cozy" read, it was perfect for December since it takes place around December 15th and into the following new year.
I specifically loved how Cooper's character was written. Told in a first person narrative, we get an inside look at his thoughts and emotions, which include PTSD. Cooper has returned from several tours in the Middle East, and he did not come back unscathed. He chooses to not get help for his traumatic experiences, and it affects every choice he makes and how he relates to the world.* It is evident that Kimi Grant wanted us to know exactly what was happening in his brain as it occurred. Yet she does so with grace and reverence for people who experience life this way.
No review would be complete without mentioning Finch, the eight year old little girl whom Cooper promises to protect with his entire body, mind, and soul. She was delightful, whimsical, empathetic, and extremely lovable. It wasn't hard to imagine how much she meant to Cooper, and how much he really tried to do right by her.
Kimi Grant weaves a fantastic character driven tale that is absolutely worth reading. The suspicion and paranoia Cooper feels grows throughout the novel and flies off the page, making you feel it too. This sacrificial tale will leave you thinking there might actually be hope left somewhere in this world.
Content Warnings: animal death, ptsd, murder
*If you are concerned about your own mental health for whatever reason, please seek help from a trusted individual and/or professional.
One of my favorite aspects of the Bookstagram community is the opportunity to meet with other readers in a virtual book club of sorts, and sometimes the author joins us! This past week I was so honored to join in an author chat set up by Kelly (@kellyhook.readsbooks) and Ivana (@beachesbooksandbubbles) with Kimi Grant about These Silent Woods. Thank you to all three of these incredible people for their time and effort to connect readers and authors together!