Download the reading guide to The Wilderness here When the body of an elderly man is found naked, frozen to death on the grounds of an abandoned petting zoo near where private investigator Leslie Stone lives with her family, the discovery triggers what Leslie calls the "haunted amusement park" of her mind. Voices and apparitions she knows to be hallucinatory disrupt her waking world. And she is unable to forget that the old man has left behind what seems like a riddle to be solved: an odd drawing and a children's poem with a shifting meaning, titled "The Wilderness." Compelled to find out what happened, Leslie finds her search interlacing with that of investigative journalist Sophia Mallory, who is tracing her personal path through the historical tragedy of slavery and its aftermath. Together they uncover a pattern of institutionalized violence so brutal, so inexplicable, that it resembles a curse. As "The Wilderness" leads each woman deeper into the past, it also leads them deeper into their own psyches, forcing them to question their motives for solving a mystery which threatens to destroy the lives of everyone they love.