A History of Wild Places|Review

A History of Wild Places – Published 2021

“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.” – Goodreads


Thank you to Netgalley and Atria books for the gifted copies of this book!

Shea Ernshaw is an auto-buy author for me. I’ve read her first two, The Wicked Deep and Winterwood and adored them both. Her writing is unlike any I’ve read, and her stories are truly compelling. They’re dark, mysterious, and addictive.

This book was much different than her first two. First, it’s not YA, and secondly, it’s very heavy.

Everyone who has read this book has described it as being atmospheric; it’s also heavily focused on characterization. Because you need to get to know each character, the plot unravels slowly. The twists were not predictable to me, and I oftentimes forgot I was reading because I was so entranced with what was happening on the pages. There’s a certain scene with the community leader that had me so spooked that I jumped when our doorbell rang and broke me from my trance. Pun intended..iykyk.

I very much loved this book and am very thankful to have had the opportunity to read it before it publishes on December 7.

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