Review: A History of Wild Places


Title: A History of Wild Places

Author: Shea Earnshaw

Release Date: 12/7/21

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Find it here: Goodreads


Synopsis from Goodreads: 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.


My Review: This book is so beautifully written it will suck you right in. The first part of the book is eerie, chilly and so well set that you can practically feel the cold against your skin. The first character we are introduced to is one that I loved and was excited to read and see where it went. The Second part of the book was just as well written and I still enjoyed it but it never captured the essence of the first part and I really wanted to go back to that. I spent a lot of the second part wishing for the first part. The second part of the book also seemed to suffer from a bit of an identity crisis. It isn't sure if it wants to be magical realism, fantasy or contemporary fiction. That back and forth was a little frustrating. I also didn't love the ending. I'm still giving it four stars because the writing is fantastic and the pacing was really done. I enjoyed it quite a bit despite the few things I didn't love.


*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All opinions are my own.*