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.
Well, I think the last part of the blurb with : ” 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.” Is actually perfect to sum up my feelings while listening to that book!
I might also add, having just finished listening on my Sunday walk, that I was choking on tears all while attempting to keep my pace! The last part of that story was VERY intense and poignant and I am sure other walkers lust have thought I was either grieving someone, either living a bad break up! 😉
I had seen some reviews of that book and it was part of our book club read so I took a chance on it. Thrillers are not my usual jam but I was looking for a change of scenery. And I am glad I did!
These Silent Woods is richly evocative. Backed by a slow but steady pace it’s a story where you will immerse yourself and feel the wilderness, the life in an isolated cabin just like Cooper and his daughter Finch did.
We know right from the start that Cooper is an ex-soldier, that he went on three tours in Afghanistan and that it didn’t leave him unscathed. We’ll get proofs later in the story and that trauma led to his current predicament somehow, as he was backed into a corner when he was vulnerable and took the rash decision to come live in the woods with his daughter.
Raising her on books, teaching her how to hunt, use a slingshot, cook breakfast, mend clothes but also observe the wild animals and appreciate the beauty of nature, Cooper did a fine job with Finch.
Yet I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen the day she would want to go to school, or discover the outside world. She had never gone grocery shopping! All these questions running rampant in my head helped raise the tension and the dread as I could feel that something would have to give at some point in the story.
The catalyst as the synopsis is saying will be a young woman traipsing in their woods. He disappearance will set in motion a series of events that will force Cooper to make yet other choices as his life with his daughter is threatened again.
Aside from Cooper and Finch, who both were very well fleshed out, we have a very limited cast of side characters. Scotland, their neighbor, is one that I was wary of, just like Cooper, proof that the author did a very fine job walking me in Cooper’s shoes! I never knew if his intention were pure or if he was a threat to Cooper and his daughter. But what a character he was! A recluse too, always spying on Cooper and Finch, bringing “gifts” to the little girl, always walking without making a single noise…
That story was a slow burn, going crescendo until the shocking final twist! All along I couldn’t help but wait for a dramatic finale that will leave me gutted because I couldn’t help rooting for Cooper, even if what he did to keep Finch was reckless because, what would I do to protect and care for my own kid really?
I saw someone in another review compare this to Where the Crawdads Sing and funny enough, that’s also the book that came to my mind because probably of wilderness taking central stage and as our main characters were living on the fringe of civilization, just like Kia did.
But indeed I think if you loved Where the Crawdads Sing, you will love These Silent Woods too!
Also special mention to the narrator Bronson Pinchot whose soft, deep and sometimes rumbling voice was just perfect to embody Cooper.
Thanks for reading!