These Silent Woods; Kimi Cunningham Grant
Macmillan Audio - 2021 - (library download)
Read by Bronson Pinchot and Stephanie Willis - both very good
(8 hours - 22 min.)
Cooper and Finch (not their real names) are a father-daughter duo that have lived in isolation in a cabin in the woods in the Appalachian mountains for nearly 8 years. Cooper is a vet and the cabin belongs to one of his vet buddy Jake who brings them large quantities of supplies in preparation for winter. One thing little Finch knows is that no one must know they are staying in the cabin and they must be very careful not to be discovered by anyone. The truth is Cooper has a lot to be concerned about and he risks losing his daughter if they are discovered. Why is he hiding from civilization and keeping his young daughter from a more normal childhood? Where is the child's mother?
This is one of those stories that is best to begin with as little information as possible as I did - too many spoilers out there. Cooper is a devoted dad who is trying to protect the daughter he loves. He teaches her survival skills, they have a hiding place under the floor boards with a trap door and he teaches his daughter to love books (the cabin has no electricity but it is well stocked with books of all sorts.) Finch loves her dad and is wise beyond her years, which I found unusual since she has really not been socialized since infancy. As a child she is not as cautious as her dad and this spells trouble down the road. Just as we begin to understand why Cooper and Finch are living a survivalist lifestyle, another mystery involving a missing teen threatens to ruin the life they have together.
I read a few glowing reviews for this book so I wanted to try it for myself. I enjoyed the audio ( Bronson Pinchot is terrific), the story had a slow, mysterious build and I liked the vivid descriptions of their life and surroundings. At times the story felt down right creepy especially when their neighbor Scotland showed up unannounced - he made my maternal instincts switch into high gear. This is a story that left me tense at times, tugged at my heart strings and finally left me satisfied even though the ending felt rather unlikely. Worth reading.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars