callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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More Fun in the Frozen North

Only kidding. This is really about The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney. A small, isolated community in the vast expanses of the Canadian wilderness in 1867. Five pages into the book, two mysteries have been set up and the characters start tracking the truth just as the local hunters track furs; tracks like threads of lives being traced, searches echoing those made in the past after the secret of that other, past mystery. There is a lot of fear in this book: of the cold, of the empty, snowy wastes and the forbidding forests, of wolves. But wolves are not the threat they seem. Wolves are a metaphor for the unknown, the stranger feared because he is different. The number of search parties wandering about could make for a farcical situation but the story is utterly gripping: atmospheric and with a masterly control of all the threads leading to the conclusion. The book has already won the Costa Book of the Year prize for a first novel and is on the longlist for the Orange Prize for Fiction. It's brilliant.

Tags: kiddie kut books, stef penney, the tenderness of wolves

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