The Way Through the Woods

On Mushrooms and Mourning

The Way Through the Woods (2019, Random House)

hardcover, 320 pages

Published July 2, 2019 by Random House.


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2 stars (1 review)

Review of 'The Way Through the Woods' on 'GoodReads'

2 stars

Long Litt Woon's book on overcoming grief through mushroom foraging is a little like the practice of foraging. Just as tasty mushrooms are discovered with a keen eye and careful searching of the forest floor, in this book the long, messy, meandering pieces of writing offer some little gems from time to time. The best sections are her own emotional responses to her husband's death; the sections on mushrooms and foraging have no relationship to these parts and the two sides to the writing seem unrelated.The stories of foraging trips or new friendships often end abruptly with no resolution, and the chapters leap wildly from one topic to another without ever giving much information. Many of Woon's opinions on foraging are entirely subjective, but presented as fact. Other statements are just appalling, such as when she makes light humour out of a dead homeless man (described in the English translation …