The co-op bookstore for avid readers
Book Cover for: The God of the Woods, Liz Moore

The God of the Woods

Liz Moore

Reader Score


90% of readers

recommend this book

Critic Reviews


Based on 10 reviews on

BookMarks logo
"The God of the Woods should be your next summer mystery." --The Washington Post

"Extraordinary . . . Reminds me of Donna Tartt's 1992 debut, The Secret History . . . I was so thoroughly submerged in a rich fictional world, that for hours I barely came up for air." --Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR

"Riveting from page one to the last breathless word." --Rebecca Makkai, New York Times bestselling author of I Have Some Questions For You

When a teenager vanishes from her Adirondack summer camp, two worlds collide

Early morning, August 1975: a camp counselor discovers an empty bunk. Its occupant, Barbara Van Laar, has gone missing. Barbara isn't just any thirteen-year-old: she's the daughter of the family that owns the summer camp and employs most of the region's residents. And this isn't the first time a Van Laar child has disappeared. Barbara's older brother similarly vanished fourteen years ago, never to be found.

As a panicked search begins, a thrilling drama unfolds. Chasing down the layered secrets of the Van Laar family and the blue-collar community working in its shadow, Moore's multi-threaded story invites readers into a rich and gripping dynasty of secrets and second chances. It is Liz Moore's most ambitious and wide-reaching novel yet.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Riverhead Books
  • Publish Date: Jul 2nd, 2024
  • Pages: 496
  • Language: English
  • Edition: undefined - undefined
  • Dimensions: 9.32in - 6.28in - 1.54in - 1.58lb
  • EAN: 9780593418918
  • Categories: Family Life - GeneralPsychologicalLiterary

About the Author

Liz Moore is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel Long Bright River, which was a Good Morning America Book Club pick and one of Barack Obama's favorite books of the year, as well as the acclaimed novels Heft and The Unseen World. A winner of the 2014-2015 Rome Prize in Literature, she lives in Philadelphia.

Critics’ reviews

Praise for this book

Praise for The God of the Woods

"The God of the Woods, like The Secret History, transports readers so deeply into its richly peopled, ominous world that, for hours, everything else falls away. . . . Breaking free of the spell Moore casts is close to impossible."
--Washington Post

"A hugely satisfying novel serves both thrills and trenchant observations. . . . Moore cleverly guides us through that tangle of trails, to a thrilling and unexpected conclusion."
--Boston Globe

"Liz Moore's extraordinary new literary suspense novel reminds me of Donna Tartt's 1992 debut, The Secret History. . . . [T]he vital connection for me was a reading experience where I was so thoroughly submerged in a rich fictional world, that for hours I barely came up for air. . . . The precision of Moore's writing never flags. . . . Unforgettable."
--Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air, NPR

"An unusually gratifying reading experience . . . Three days after you turn the last page, your head is still half in it. It's as if you can smell the pine and wood smoke. . . . Moore has written an atmospheric family drama, a social novel and the best kind of missing persons story, one that's fun to read and think about."
--Marion Winnik, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Clear your afternoon: This absorbing story, told by a compelling cast of characters, is unputdownable."
--Real Simple

"Part riveting thriller and part family drama, Liz Moore's novel plays on the uncomfortable truths of favoritism and family dynamics in this nail-biter that will keep you from wandering alone in the woods for quite some time."
--Huffington Post

"An immersive reading experience that will draw audiences. Its explorations of class, crime, and family dynamics, in addition to Moore's incredible storytelling, will appeal to readers of Lisa Jewell, Tana French, and Lucy Foley."
--Library Journal, STARRED review

"Rich in background detail and secondary mysteries . . . this ever-expansive, intricate, emotionally engaging novel never seems overplotted. Every piece falls skillfully into place and every character, major and minor, leaves an imprint."
--Kirkus, STARRED review

"Gripping and revelatory . . . The beautiful and dangerous wilderness setting enhances the suspense as the narrative builds to a dramatic final act. . . . This astonishes."
--Publishers Weekly,
STARRED review

"A compulsively readable novel that will appeal to fans of mysteries and historical fiction alike."
--Booklist, STARRED review

"Riveting from page one to the last breathless word, The God of the Woods is about the many ways we find and lose both ourselves and others. This book flew by at lightning speed, but will stick with me for a very long time."
--Rebecca Makkai, New York Times bestselling author of I Have Some Questions For You

"A brilliant, riveting fox trap of a novelan epic mystery, a family saga and a survival guide. Liz Moore shows us how easy it is for any of us to get lost in the woods, and what to do if you want to be found. I loved this book."
--Miranda Cowley Heller, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Paper Palace

"A riveting tale of a missing child that widens into a vast, acute portrait of youth, friendship, family secrets, and conflicting social circles. Intelligently done, and with a gimlet eye for telling detail, it's a brilliant trap full of secrets and lies."
--Douglas Stuart, Booker Prize winning author of Shuggie Bain

"A rare gem, an immersive and enthralling literary thriller: a novel about love in the aftermath of tragedy, and about families of the very best--and the worst--kind."
--Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train