These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant will stop you in your tracks. You’ll walk into the very woods that the main characters, Cooper and Finch, hide out in. You’ll tread cautiously knowing that a wrong move will bring on dire consequences. Grant writes with a magic hand. Nothing is overbearing and all feels like it's going to fly away. Without any spoilers, here the last pages will be as taut as the bow Cooper uses to hunt for food.
A father and daughter living in the remote Appalachian mountains must reckon with the ghosts of their past in Kimi Cunningham Grant's These Silent Woods, a mesmerizing novel of suspense.
No electricity, no family, no connection to the outside world.
For eight years, Cooper and his young daughter, Finch, have lived in isolation in a remote cabin in the northern Appalachian woods. And that's exactly the way Cooper wants it, because he's got 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 just how precarious their situation really 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.
KIMI CUNNINGHAM GRANT is the author of Fallen Mountains, Silver Like Dust, and These Silent Woods. Kimi is a two-time winner of a Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Memorial Prize in Poetry and a recipient of a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts fellowship in creative nonfiction. Her poems and essays have appeared in Fathom, Literary Mama, RATTLE, Poet Lore, and Whitefish Review. She lives with her family in Pennsylvania.
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