I just finished The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney last night and was so sorry that it was over. What I great way to begin my 2009 reading! After I finished it, I found myself wishing that I was reading it for a college course, where we would have much discussion on it and would have to write a paper on different aspects, etc. It was that good.
Here is a brief blurb from the back of the book:
“The year is 1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on
A local woman, Mrs. Ross, stumbles upon the crime scene and sees the tracks leading from the dead man’s cabin north toward the forest and the tundra beyond. It is Mrs. Ross’s knock on the door of the largest house in Caulfield that launches the investigation. Within hours she will regret that knock with a mother’s love-for soon she makes another discovery: her seventeen-year-old son Francis has disappeared as well, and is now considered a prime suspect.”
And that is just a piece of the whole story! There are several other stories/subplots within the book that I found fascinating. One of the sub-stories was of two sisters who had disappeared from the area years ago. I should add that the story takes place in Northern Canada. Several different parties head out into the wild looking for Francis and answers. The book does an excellent job of relating several different relationships occurring through-out the story. I was fascinated with all of the different relationships. Ms. Penney did an excellent job with the stories, and tying them all together. I really enjoyed her writing style.
Here’s just the very briefest teaser from the book:
“She drops her face until it is hidden in shadow. Donald feels ashamed of himself. Her parents had been the object of so much sympathy; everyone was in awe of their loss. But the lost grieve, too.”
That may not seem especially great, but in context of the story, it struck me as profound!
Just as an interesting aside: this was another 1st novel by the author. I am constantly amazed at all of the great 1st novels out there!