Every month, Amazon Prime customers get to participate in Kindle First. This perk of Amazon Prime means each month, I get to choose one Kindle book that will be released the next month to have for free. I have found many interesting books this way, and it ensures that I always have something in my back pocket for those days when I only have my Kindle.
The book I chose in December was True Places by Sonja Yoerg. The description of a girl who grew up living in the forest being found by the side of the road by an upper-middle class mom was fascinating to me. So of course I decided that would be my pick.
When Suzanne Blakemore finds herself driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway, she’s not really sure where she’s going. Her busy schedule and constantly pinging phone dictate that she does not have time to just “go on a drive.” But suddenly, impulsively, that’s exactly what Suzanne is doing. Soon, she spots something, no, someone, walking out of the woods. She slows down, curious. When the girl collapses, Suzanne knows she has to help. Little does Suzanne know, but this girl, named Iris, is about to change her life.
Iris has lived her entire life “off the grid.” She cannot remember a time when she wasn’t living in a small cabin in the forest, gleaning most of her food and water from nature. She had a mom and dad, but now she is all alone. But when she is picked up by Suzanne Blackmore, she finds herself in the hospital, being treated for an illness.
Soon, Suzanne and her husband are applying to be foster parents and have taken her into their home. Suzanne’s perfect life is crumbling around her. Her children are in turmoil, her relationship with her husband is stale, and she is feeling stagnant and without purpose. Everything she does is for everyone else. Iris is torn from the only world she’s ever known and thrust into a world of technology and materialism. Iris struggles to adapt (and to even know if she wants to adapt). Suzanne is trying to salvage her seemingly perfect life. But the longer Iris lives in her home, the more Suzanne discovers that Iris’s presences is changing her life. Forever.
True Places was a fascinating story of family, loss, marriage, and struggle in a place where the characters felt they did not belong. Sonja Yoerg is a beautiful writer, and her descriptions of settings and people made me feel like I was right there as the story was happening. The way she portrayed her characters was beautiful and relatable. The story was fascinating and gripping. I found the ending less satisfying than I would have liked, but I think that was the point. Her writing makes me want to read her other books! True Places is the perfect settle-in-and-get-lost-in-a-book read.
True Places by Sonja Yoerg gets 4/5 stars.