In Wilderness; Diane Thomas
Bantam - 2015
In Wilderness is a very different story from anything I've read recently. The story begins in 1966, with Katherine (Kate) Reid, 38, the owner of a high powered ad-agency in Atlanta, Georgia. As a woman in the 1960's who has risen to this position, she certainly has a lot going for her, but we all know how life can change in the blink of an eye.
Kate loses a baby and then is told that she hasn't much time to live. She keeps losing weight and is quickly nothing but skin and bones. She's been to several doctors with no specific diagnosis. Figuring she has little time left, she decides to leave her present life behind an buys a remote cabin in the woods in the Blue Ridge mountains of Appalachia. She wants to live out what time she has left in solitude. However, the solitude she seeks is short-lived.
Danny McClean is a Vietnam Vet suffering from PSTD. Danny has lost all of the significant people in his life, and has escaped to the same woods where Kate is. He's been living off the grid, and he is now watching Kate. In her new surroundings, Kate's condition seems to be improving, and when the two do meet there is after a time that need for both individuals for human connection. What happens when two damaged people connect?
This is one of those stories that's a bit hard to rate. The writing is very descriptive, but very dark as well. The first half of the book moved way too slow for me, but on the other hand, it is also a story which transported me and stuck with me as well. It's ultimately a story about two damaged people needing someone to ease their emotional pain. However, madness and passion aren't a good combination when one is looking for happiness. There is a good dose of explicit sexual content in this story which might not appeal to all readers, and one blood-related depiction that I could have done without. Despite the few negatives for me, overall, I was still glad I tried this one. It's a debut book that took the author 30 years to complete.