Monday, April 22, 2024

In Wilderness: A Novel by Diane Thomas - EDITED

I first read Diane Thomas' IN WILDERNESS in 2015 and wrote about it here.

After recently re-reading it, I'm back to shout its praises yet again and encourage you to give it a try.  Trust me.

Just scoot down the page to see what Lee Child, Ron Rash, and others had to say.

And while scuttling about several rabbit holes in search of an autographed copy (which I did not find), I unearthed a fascinating Conversation Between Diane Thomas  and Christina Baker Kline which you can read here:

In 1966 thirty-eight year old Katherine Reid sells her ad agency and her Atlanta home and flees to the North Georgia mountains to die.

Twenty year old Vietnam vet Danny Maclean, damaged, tortured and cunning, spies her arrival.

What happens next is suspenseful, riveting and raw.

Not an easy book to read, and perhaps not for the faint of heart, but it pulled me in from the beginning. Diane Thomas is an extraordinary writer. Her words mold and manipulate the reader’s feelings in a subtle, sure manner. There are passages of exquisite beauty, along with brutal, haunting, harrowing, gorgeous, tender, obsessive, desolate, bold, erotic, heartbreaking, and uplifting. All this – leaving me with a literary novel to be cherished. One that has moved me like few others. One that I will recommend for years to come.

I pulled the following from the Random House webpage:

For readers of Amanda Coplin and Chris Bohjalian, In Wilderness is a suspenseful and literary love story—a daring and original novel about our fierce need for companionship and our enduring will to survive.

In the winter of 1966, Katherine Reid moves to an isolated cabin deep in Georgia’s Appalachian Mountains. There, with little more than a sleeping bag, a tin plate, and a loaded gun, she plans to spend her time in peaceful solitude. But one day, Katherine realizes the woods are not empty, and she is not alone. Someone else is near, observing  her every move. 

Twenty-year-old Vietnam veteran Danny lives not far from Katherine’s cabin, in a once-grand mansion he has dubbed “Gatsby’s house.” Haunted by war and enclosed by walls of moldering books, he becomes fixated on Katherine. What starts as cautious observation grows to obsession. When these two souls collide, the passion that ignites between them is all-consuming—and increasingly dangerous.

Suffused with a stunning sense of character and atmosphere, Diane Thomas’s intimate voice creates an unforgettable depiction of the transformative power of love, how we grieve and hope, and the perilous ways in which we heed and test our hearts.

Advance praise for In Wilderness

“A harrowing exploration of desire and obsession, In Wilderness sends two people into a physical and psychological wilderness that becomes stranger and more terrifying the deeper they go.”—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Orphan Train 

“Not my usual thing, which makes me say it all the louder: I love, love, love this book—the fearless and unflinching story of two extraordinary, vivid people alone in a vast pristine wilderness, told with genuine suspense and a wonderfully empowering ending.  In Wilderness is altogether spectacular.”—Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Personal

“Unforgettable: a mad, haunting, dreamlike story of love, obsession, and wildness . . . Diane Thomas mixes elegant prose with raw emotion.”—William Landay, New York Times bestselling author ofDefending Jacob

In Wilderness is an often harrowing story of a love affair between two damaged people, but it is also a paean to the healing powers of nature. Diane Thomas has written an extraordinary novel filled with both darkness and light.”—Ron Rash, PEN/Faulkner Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of Serena and The Cove

“Diane Thomas writes like a woman in a fever dream, clashing two wasted, achingly lonely souls together to create sparks that become an all-consuming wildfire. The desolate inner landscapes of Danny and Katherine stand in stark opposition to the beauty of the natural world Thomas so expertly evokes, and I found myself riveted as they stumbled in their broken way toward connection and their own humanity. Heartbreaking, bold, relentless, and intensely erotic, In Wilderness is the work of a true original.”—Joshilyn Jackson, New York Times bestselling author of Someone Else’s Love Story

“The story—the writing—stands out as some of the most original and dynamic work I’ve ever read. In Wilderness is an intensely powerful cat-and-mouse love story as gorgeous and brutal as its Appalachian mountain setting. I devoured every word.”—Carla Buckley, author of The Deepest Secret

Disclaimer:  an electronic arc of this book was provided by  No review was promised and the above is my unbiased opinion.

1 comment:

Diane Thomas said...

Kaye -- Thank you so very much for your kind words. I'm so glad you enjoyed IN WILDERNESS. It's involved readers like you whom writers like me rejoice in. All best wishes. -- Diane Thomas