Monday, October 5, 2015

Little Wolves

I have read The Night Birds by Thomas Maltman twice and loved it each time so I was anxious to read  Little Wolves also by Mr. Maltman.

 Little Wolves is set in Minnesota in a small town where one day young sixteen year old Seth Fallon left his home hiding a shotgun under his coat.  He went to his high school English teacher's home and rang the doorbell.  Clara (the teacher) didn't answer the door because she was hiding in the basement sneaking a smoke (because Clara was pregnant and the wife of the local minister).  Seth then left and the Sheriff pulled him over as he was walking along the road.  Seth pulled out the gun and shot the Sheriff in the face, killing him.  Seth then went to a cornfield and killed himself.

That's the beginning of the story and where all the questions begin.  The obvious questions are why did Seth go to Clara's home and why did he kill the Sheriff?  But there's more than just that story.  There is also the question of why did Clara convince her husband to take the minister position in the small, isolated town?  Who was her mother and why would her father never tell her about her mother?  And why does the sight of the young coyote pups that Seth had been raising trouble the townspeople?    

I enjoy Mr. Maltman's writing.  In both books there are mystical things going on.  I also just like the way he uses words and ideas:

"She had realized she could see her mother, this woman whose memory her father denied her, but only when he wasn't near, so she kept running away.  She didn't consciously mean to hurt him.  Each time she ran away, the weather changed, as if her father had the power to call down storms.  And each time he came to find her, no matter what it cost him physically.  He didn't ask questions nor did he scold her.  For a long time after he died Clara had the sense of him out there, still searching for her, trying to keep her safe.  The dead carve out a space inside us, taking up residence like a man stepping under a willow tree in the rain to sit beside the ghost of our former selves.  In this manner each of us is haunted, and who would have it any other way?"


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