Reviewed: “In Wilderness: A Novel” by Diane Thomas

In WildernessDiane Thomas wrote a complicated book when she wrote “In Wilderness: A Novel.”

That’s a compliment. A compliment and a source of frustration.

The dual story of Katherine Reid, a thirty-eight year old woman given a prognosis of impending death by doctors in 1967, and of Danny, a twenty year old Vietnam veteran suffering from PTSD long before that was a diagnosis, the novel is fluid, logical, and intriguing.

Katherine buys a dilapidated stone cottage in the Georgia mountains where she plans to either live until she dies or bring death earlier than nature might allow. Danny squatted in the cottage until it was sold and, in a marijuana soaked haze of understanding, takes up the new hobby of watching every move Katherine makes.

It’s sort of stalking but it isn’t. Not really.

This is where the story gets to the frustrating sort of complicated.

What Katherine does and even, to a lesser extent, what Danny does is understandable. Their motivations make sense.

But they way in which they do things, especially after they meet and speak is… unsettling. Thomas probably meant for this to be what comes across. It doesn’t make it easier to read. Danny’s obsession becomes frightening and while Katherine eventually finds the inner strength that has always eluded her, it’s sort of haunting how she goes along with for so long.

No one gets a happy ending; not Katherine or Danny or the reader.

But the reader won’t want to stop reading. You can’t stop reading this book, even if you can’t quite figure out why.

“In Wilderness” will be available for purchase March 3, 2015.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Bantam Dell for the ARC to be read, enjoyed, and reviewed.

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2 thoughts on “Reviewed: “In Wilderness: A Novel” by Diane Thomas

  1. dianethomaswriter February 24, 2015 / 4:26 pm

    Thank you for reviewing my novel IN WILDERNESS. I’m delighted you couldn’t put it down, even if, as you wrote, you weren’t sure why. Best wishes for continued success with “Adventures With Words.” — Diane Thomas

    • Nicole O February 24, 2015 / 4:31 pm

      Not being sure why I couldn’t put it down is not in any way a bad thing, not at all. I’m just the type of person who likes to be able explain why I love something. Sometimes that can take away from something though, being able to explain and break it down into pieces. So I am happy and thankful that your novel stumped me. Thank you so much for reading my thoughts on your novel & wishing me luck on this blog!

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