Certain that society is on the verge of economic and environmental collapse, five disillusioned twenty-somethings transform an abandoned far into an idyllic self-sustaining compound called the Homestead.
Variations on this kind of ecstatic togetherness recur again and again in Woods, forming delightful tableaus or ominous danger signs, depending on the dear reader's level of cynicism ... About those tomatoes, plucked in fruity organic abundance: Dolan-Leach refers to them as 'lycopenes,' a sign that her mostly well-modulated prose occasionally veers into the overwrought and inflated ... Ultimately it is not sexual entanglements but anti-pesticide, anti-fracking environmental advocacy that dooms Mack's beloved Homestead. Our heroine escapes the inevitable crash with her life intact and the first-person experience fastidiously detailed in We Went to the Woods. Caite Dolan-Leach has crafted a sharp, spellbinding cautionary tale, one that reminds us that even those who do remember the past might also wind up repeating it.
Dolan-Leach begins the first line of the novel with Mack’s confession: 'I’m the wrong one to tell our story.' But if Mack is an astute observer and an outsider invested in these people and their Great Experiment, she seems like the ideal group member to tell this story. This confession frames the suspenseful novel and adds another layer to its driving question — you can’t help but keep reading to figure out why Mack has reason to leave not only society, but also this new intentional community, this Great Experiment that brought her into the woods.