Book Review: A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

I was so excited to read this book! When I saw that the Book of the Month Club was advertising this book for $5 as a special for the month of December, I jumped on it. I had been thinking about joining anyway and this was just the perfect enticement to pull the trigger.

Goodreads Summary:

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called “Pastoral,” this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it… he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

My Thoughts:

This book took me down so many roads. I never knew what was going to happen, I wanted to know the secrets, what is going on, what is happening..I had to just keep reading and reading until I finished and then I was so upset that it was over!

I love a commune story, and this was a spectacular one. Bee, Calla, the others in the community all have their purposes and roles. Theo stands guard at the gate, watching an empty road day after day, staring into the woods beyond, the woods that no one is allowed to enter. Another theme that I love..a do not go into the woods theme. I feel like these two ideas, communal living, the woods being a place of danger, speak to such instinctual feelings we carry around in our DNA for survival – gather together, work together, stay out of the woods and dark places. Theo however, dared to be curious and it sets off a chain of questions and has them all wondering if they really know anything about Pastoral and each other at all.

This book is beautifully told, full of layers. I absolutely recommend it!

As you can tell, I had fun taking photos of this book for Instagram. It was a cold weekend, we didn’t want to hike but wanted out of the house so we drove around and occasionally stopped so the book could have its picture taken. I froze my fingers off for the one above on the fence! And walked across a huge sheet of ice for the photo below!

Have you read this? What did you think? Also, tell me which photo you like the best! I would love to hear!


7 thoughts on “Book Review: A History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

  1. Pingback: My Sunday-Monday Post – Still Life, With Cracker Crumbs..

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