Book Review: These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant

A Book Review from Pick A Good Book: It feels impossible to convey how special this story is and how well developed the characters are who play their parts in it. But, hopefully, something in this review will touch you and cause you to give this book a try.


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.

Pick A Good Book’s Thoughts

Review Originally Posted on Pick A Good Book
Reposted with permission.

I’ve struggled for far too long trying to write this review. It feels impossible to convey how special this story is and how well developed the characters are who play their parts in it. But, hopefully, something in this review will touch you and cause you to give this book a try.

Though it starts as a slow burn, don’t mistake slow burn to mean slow and semi-boring. Not at all. It’s important for the reader to be able to visualize the area, which is off the grid, meaning living without modern conveniences. And the best way to demonstrate this is to get to know the main characters and how they handle daily life.

Grant’s descriptions are beautifully woven into the story. They were never noticeable and intrusive as some descriptions can feel. I can still visualize the setting constructed by beautiful writing and my imagination.

This story kept me squirming in my seat and wanting answers. Why were Dad and daughter isolating themselves from the world? What was so frightening about being discovered? Who is the creepy neighbor who tends to sneak up on the two?

The suspense and questions kept coming as I grew to love both daughter and Dad. Though this is listed on the publisher’s site as a thriller, for me, it felt more like suspenseful drama. And, really, the suspense wasn’t high, it was just a wanna-know-more and love for the characters.

My Concerns

Was the story 100 percent believable? Eh, maybe, maybe not. But when I’m reading something interesting that begins to transform into a technicolor experience with characters I love, who cares? I didn’t over analyze the belief factor, but some might.

Final Thoughts

Even though I read this weeks and weeks ago, it’s still fresh in my mind. For me, that says a lot for a book and author.

You’ll definitely want to give this one a try.

My thanks to #minitourbooks for a gifted copy and the ability to post my personal thoughts regarding this book.

Rating 5 Stars ☆☆☆☆☆

About the Author

Kimi Cunningham Grant is the author of Fallen MountainsSilver 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 FathomLiterary Mama, RATTLE, Poet Lore, and Whitefish Review. She lives, writes, and teaches in Pennsylvania.

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