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About The Book

In this “riveting, atmospheric thriller that messes with your mind in the best way” (Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author), three residents of a secluded, seemingly peaceful commune investigate the disappearances of two outsiders.

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Often hired by families as a last resort, he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—and is soon 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.

“As spine-chilling as it is beautifully crafted” (Ruth Emmie Lang, author of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance), A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

About The Author

Photograph by Sky Pinnick

Shea Ernshaw is the author of A History of Wild Places, the New York Times bestseller The Wicked Deep, Winterwood, and A Wilderness of Stars. She is the winner of the 2019 Oregon Book Award. She lives in a small mountain town in Oregon and is happiest when lost in a good book, lost in the woods, or writing her next novel.

About The Readers

Why We Love It

“When this novel came in on submission, I wondered if the agent was a mind reader because Shea Ernshaw’s A History of Wild Places felt tailor-made for me. It was atmospheric, with characters weighed down by their past and by secrets, and the lush, hypnotic prose pulled you in from the very first line. It was clear that this was not the author’s first stab at writing; in fact, Shea is the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels The Wicked Deep and Winterwood. But, here, she leaves the world of witches behind and dives into the deep, deep, deep mysterious woods that hide Pastoral, a seemingly peaceful commune. When three members discover that two outsiders had gone missing inside, all they know to be true gets called into question.”

—Loan L., Editor, on A History of Wild Places

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (December 7, 2021)
  • Runtime: 11 hours and 59 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797143699

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