When graduate student Aine Cahill uncovers a journal proving that her aunt Bonnie was an intimate companion of Henry David Thoreau’s during his supposedly solitary sojourn at Walden Pond, she knows that she has found the perfect subject for her
She decides to travel to Walden Pond herself to hunker down and work on her writing, but it quickly becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Thoreau’s woodland retreat. The further Aine delves into Bonnie’s diary the more she finds herself wondering about her family’s sinister legacy and even her own sanity—is there really a young girl lurking in the woods?
As tragedy strikes a nearby town and suspicion falls on Aine, she scrambles to find the truth behind Thoreau’s paradise.
Author: R.B. Chesterton
My Rating: 3/5
My Favourite Quote: “My library research took me down a rabbit trail of men’s hairstyle’s in the mid-1800s. The information was useless for my dissertation, but it amused me.”
I was first drawn to this book because of the cover, I wanted something spooky and this cover seemed to suggest that this book would fit the bill.
This book follows a woman who is doing her PhD thesis on the writer Thoreau. In order to focus on her writing and to gather inspiration she is staying in a cabin at Walden pond where Thoreau once also stayed.
I have to admit, I do love books from the perspective of PhD students or academics, I’m a bit of a nerd and I think it offers a fun perspective and characterization. Though, I haven’t read the works of Thoreau and while I think you can get by reading this book as a novice like myself, I imagine if you love Thoreau’s work you might enjoy this book more than I.
Overall, I thought this book was a decent read. I found the pacing was a bit odd, the first half of the book is fairly slow, while the second half is quite past-paced. I also initially did not like the dialogue, I felt like some of the interactions between characters was oddly stilted and some of the side characters seemed more like plot devices rather then characters of their own right.
I did like the atmosphere of this book, the isolation of being essentially alone in a cabin in the middle of the woods in winter is quite fun. The descriptions of the area and some of the historical details were also great. I also thought the scares and the spooky elements were pretty well done. I was reading this book late at night and I did have to stop and turn on some lights 😉.
I also have to add, I didn’t care for the ending. I hope its not a spoiler to say I found it quite dissatisfying.
I wouldn’t call this a must read, or that it is one you should seek out necessarily. But if you are interested in Thoreau it could be fun, and it is a legitimately spooky read!
If you have read this book I’d love to hear your thoughts! Thank you so much for reading!