Out of the Woods

Author: Luke Turner
After the disintegration of the most significant relationship of his life, the demons Luke Turner has been battling since childhood are quick to return – depression and guilt surrounding his identity as a bisexual man, experiences of sexual abuse, and the religious upbringing that was the cause of so much confusion. It is among the trees of London’s Epping Forest where he seeks refuge. But once a place of comfort, it now seems full of unexpected, elusive threats that trigger twisted reactions.
At last, Luke finds himself drawn again and again to the woods, eager to uncover the strange secrets that may be buried there as he investigates an old family rumour of illicit behaviour. Away from a society that still struggles to cope with the complexities of masculinity and sexuality, Luke begins to accept the duality that has provoked so much unrest in his life – and reconcile the expectations of others with his own way of being.
So what did he do? Seek counselling? Start taking Citalopram? Find another girlfriend — or boyfriend? Luke is bisexual, you see, and swings between Tinder and Grindr in search of mindless pleasures. Does it make him happy? Of course not: “There’s nothing like the offer of a pounding from a plumber to make you feel utterly alone.”
Out of The Woods is a dazzling, devastating and highly original memoir about the irresistible yet double-edged potency of the forest, and the possibility of learning to find peace in the grey areas of life.
> Shatabdi Sarker Poushi