In his evocative novel North Woods, Daniel Mason traverses three centuries’ worth of lovers, families, friends, foes, and ghosts on a lush plot of land in the woods of New England. North Woods begins with a pair of Puritan runaway lovers who leave their homes and families to begin a new life of freedom together. As time passes, new characters come to live in the home that the couple built, including a young Black mother fleeing slavery, a contemporary postdoctoral fellow seeking respite in nature, and an artist pining for a forbidden love, among others. Weaving between multiple eras, the book is a deft study in the universal feelings of longing and a desire for escape. —Cady Lang
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