Publication Date: 19/09/2023 ISBN: 9781399809283 Category:

North Woods

Daniel Mason

Publisher: John Murray Press
Publication Date: 19/09/2023 ISBN: 9781399809283 Category:




‘Truly outstanding’ Mail on Sunday

‘Mason teases out the joy and meaning in the sometimes small lives of his characters. North Woods has been heaped with praise and hype, and deservedly so. This is a book that treats life as a miracle and demands the proper awe from its readers’ Antonia Senior, The Times

‘This is a time-spanning, genre-blurring work of storytelling magic . . . The only constants are the land and Mason’s genius’ Washington Post

‘Daniel Mason’s latest novel is one of those rare books that truly deserves the description “spellbinding” ‘ Observer

‘A tapestry at once intimate and epic’ TLS

‘Utterly beguiling’ Scotsman

‘Extraordinary characters . . . a tour de force’ Independent, Best Books for Autumn

‘Epic . . . weaves a Cloud Atlas-style narrative of humanity under pressure and nature under threat’ Guardian, 2023’s Biggest Books


A young Puritan couple on the run. An English soldier with a fantastic vision. Inseparable twin sisters. A lovelorn painter and a lusty beetle. A desperate mother and her haunted son. A ruthless con man and a stalking panther. Buried secrets. Madness, dreams and hope.

All are connected. The dark, raucous, beautiful past is very much alive.

Exhilarating, daring and playful, NORTH WOODS will change the way you see the world.

‘A monumental achievement . . . I loved it’ Maggie O’Farrell

‘Ambitious, alive, and lush with generosity . . . an immersive sprint through time’ Tess Gunty

Publisher Review

Mason follows the inhabitants of a secluded western Massachusetts home and their tragedies across centuries in this spectacular ghost story . . . [He] interleaves his crystalline prose with enchanting and authentic-seeming historical documents . . . Each arc is beautifully, heartbreakingly conveyed, stitching together subtle connections across time. This astonishes * Pulbishers Weeky, starred review * Virtuosic, astonishing, gorgeously vivid -- Alison O'Keeffe * Bookseller * The story of a house, the humans who inhabit it, the ghosts who haunt it, and the New England forest encompassing them all . . . Readers will find themselves in an entrancing fictional realm where the human, natural, and supernatural mingle, all captured in the author's effortlessly virtuosic prose . . . Throughout, this loose and limber novel explores themes of illicit desire, madness, the occult, the palimpsest of human history, and the inexorable workings of the natural world (a passage recounting the fateful mating of an elm bark beetle is unforgettable), all handled with a touch that is light and sure. Like the house at its center, a book that is multitudinous and magical. * Kirkus * A magisterial mosaic . . . truly triumphant * Booklist * North Woods is a monumental achievement of polyphony and humanity. Relating the narrative of an entire country via a single plot of land, it sweeps the reader through hundreds of years and an array of protagonists with a deft, heartbreaking, idiosyncratic zeal. I loved it. * Maggie O'Farrell * North Woods is a sui generis work of pure brilliance, an epic written with a miniaturist's precision. Daniel Mason has unearthed, in the centuries-spanning history of a single New England home, a universal story of loss and reclamation. This is the best book I've read in ages * Anthony Marra, New York Times bestselling author of MERCURY PICTURES PRESENTS * Ambitious, alive, and lush with generosity, North Woods is an immersive sprint through time. It offers an inventive portrait of the individual and the collective, a vivid history of a cabin and a country, inhabiting each of its characters with a compassion that took my breath away. I emerged from this book as though from an enchanted forest, covered in leaves and changed by what I had seen there. Electrifying * Tess Gunty, author of THE RABBIT HUTCH *

Find this book on the following lists

Book experts at your service

What are you looking for?

A recommendation
Something specific
  • Mr B's Recommendation Station
  • Fill in the three questions below, along with your name and email address, and our book experts will be in touch soon with their personal recommendations

  • I'm after something specific
  • Tell us about the book, author or subject you're looking for, along with your name and email address and our book experts will be in touch as soon as possible