Suzanne Blakemore hurtles along the Blue Ridge Parkway, away from her overscheduled and completely normal life, and encounters the girl. As Suzanne rushes her to the hospital, she never imagines how the encounter will change her—a change she both fears and desperately needs.
Suzanne has the perfect house, a successful husband, and a thriving family. But beneath the veneer of an ideal life, her daughter is rebelling, her son is withdrawing, her husband is oblivious to it all, and Suzanne is increasingly unsure of her place in the world. After her discovery of the ethereal sixteen-year-old who has never experienced civilization, Suzanne is compelled to invite Iris into her family’s life and all its apparent privileges.
But Iris has an independence, a love of solitude, and a discomfort with materialism that contrasts with everything the Blakemores stand for—qualities that awaken in Suzanne first a fascination, then a longing. Now Suzanne can’t help but wonder: Is she destined to save Iris, or is Iris the one who will save her?
This book was wonderful!
Fog hung in the trees, a hush of silvery damp, but the girl could tell the sun would burn through before long and dry the grasses hunched under the weight of dew
The cabin stood in a small clearing, and the trees surrounding it had strained toward the heavens for a long time, long enough for the trunks to have become too thick for the girl to enclose them in the circle of her arms, long enough for anyone with decency to fall silent in reverence.
The fog had disappeared as surreptitiously as it has come. The sun was high and all the green in the world was rising toward it. She listened as she climbed, her skin and each of her senses bound together into solid awareness. Everything surrounds her, impinging on her, she felt and knew
One day Suzanne had enough; she had to get away from the family and her responsibilities for just a little while so she decided to just drive a little bit. She found a little girl next to the woods and took her to the hospital. This is where the story of Iris truly begins. What happened to her parents? Why did she live in the woods?
"People. People want to know things about you. People want you to follow rules. People put chemicals in the water, and ruin good food and hurt animals and waste things that are precious. People won't let you live a simple, good life." She faced him. " I don't need people, and I don't want them."
But life is going to take a different turn for Iris because Suzanne can't leave her alone in a world she knows nothing about.
Suzanne twisted to look across the treetops and roofs to the rolling hills and the mountains beyond. She imagined Iris wandering along the ridges, drinking from the streams, searching for food, sleeping on the forest floor, untethered and unaccountable to anyone but herself. Now Suzanne imagined not Iris but herself, alone in the woods. The thought made her heart beat faster, and for an instant she wasn't certain whether it was from fear or excitement.
I loved how this book had POV's for Suzanne, her husband, two kids and Iris. We get to find out little things about each of them.
I loved Suzanne's son, Reid. He was a big cool dude! I hated the daughter, Brynn until the end. And I didn't like the husband, Whit, on and off until the end as well. And I'm so glad this book had a happy ending for everyone. The book had my feel good ending!
She finished clearing the plants away and squatted on her heels with one hand on the top of the marker, listening. The wind sighed through the tops of the trees, shifting the pattern of light falling to the forest floor. A pair of dusky-blue butterflies, no bigger than her thumbnail, danced in a shifting column of light, then alighted, first one, then the other, on the damp ground, violet blue against brown, before twirling upward once more. Beyond the clearing, in the undergrowth, a bird kicked through the leaf litter. A towhee.