Vaster Wilds

Groff, Lauren


37 in stock

37 in stock

Set in the 1600s, beginning with a voyage across the Atlantic, this is Lauren Groff’s inventive novel The Vaster Wilds


Part of a loose trilogy based on the end of empire, The Vaster Wilds is the story of a young girl who is servant to a minister and his young mistress, and in charge of their young daughter Bess. On an epic voyage across the Atlantic, ship-wrecked, far from home and fighting for survival, the protagonist of Lauren Groff’s extraordinary new novel must endure but also find meaning in the journey.


‘Lush, gripping and ferocious’ MADELINE MILLER

‘An audacious piece of storytelling, full of passion, wisdom and magic’ SARAH WATERS

‘A gorgeous, sensual, addictive read’ SARA COLLINS

Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
Imprint: Hutchinson Heinemann
Publication date: 21/09/2023

Staff review

The Vaster Wilds
By Lauren Groff
Review by Claudia

If you have ever daydreamed about breaking your smartphone in half, leaving the comforts of modern life and heading off into the wilderness, this book shows that you will not live for very long. And you will probably be hungry and uncomfortable for that short period of time.

The Vaster Wilds is the gross and agonizing story of a young woman who takes a big risk. While the protagonist deals with the immediate and life-threatening consequences of her choice, her impoverished upbringing and ascension to the status of handmaid are described through flashbacks. Realistic and disgusting details of life in presumably-London and probably-Jamestown, including the thrilling account of the sea voyage in between, are the showstoppers, as is the contrasting glory of the American wilderness.

Fans of the author’s 2021 novel Matrix will enjoy the focus on the historical experience of women, with no softening or censoring. Yes, men and their influence flit about on the edges of the narrative, but the more interesting relationship being explored here is between the young woman and her god. The depiction of the protagonist’s inner crisis, the emotional climax of the protagonist’s flashbacks and glimmers of hope that twinkle in the wilds had me reading at an exponential rate.

If you enjoy a nail-biting read, you will find a lot to love in this book. I highly recommend it.

The Vaster Wilds
by Lauren Groff
Review by Alex A

This story was utterly captivating! I was steadily drawn into the Girl’s story of human grit and survival, set in the unforgiving yet glorious American wilderness.  

The Vaster Wilds is a taut, precisely-crafted allegory, following a young girl’s flight into the early colonial American wilds. The backstory of the protagonist’s life is gradually revealed, as we hurtle through a landscape peppered with threats. As her journey progresses, she slowly understands her place in a greater and more intricate tapestry of life. The visceral descriptions of her suffering through starvation, injury and illness are bleak but riveting. The reader keenly feels these hardships and the relief of every hard-won bite of life-sustaining food. 

Questioning the limits of human adaptation, this book examines our own culpability in the face of systemic oppression, and probes the struggle to turn away from established structures and create a new way of being in the world. 

ISBN: 9781529152913 Categories: , Tag