I received a free book for my honest review.
About the Book:
• Hardcover: 448 pages
• Publisher: Harper (June 9, 2015)
The award-winning author of The Electric Michelangelo returns with her first novel in nearly six years, a literary masterpiece about the reintroduction of wild wolves into the United Kingdom.
She hears them howling along the buffer zone, a long harmonic.
One leading, then many.
At night there is no need to imagine, no need to dream.
They reign outside the mind.
Rachel Caine is a zoologist working in Nez Perce, Idaho, as part of a wolf recovery project. She spends her days, and often nights, tracking the every move of a wild wolf pack—their size, their behavior, their howl patterns. It is a fairly solitary existence, but Rachel is content.
When she receives a call from the wealthy and mysterious Earl of Annerdale, who is interested in reintroducing the grey wolf to Northern England, Rachel agrees to a meeting. She is certain she wants no part of this project, but the Earl’s estate is close to the village where Rachel grew up, and where her aging mother now lives in a care facility. It has been far too long since Rachel has gone home, and so she returns to face the ghosts of her past.
About the Author:
Sarah Hall was born in 1974 in Cumbria, England. She received a master of letters in creative writing from Scotland’s St. Andrews University and has published four novels. Haweswater won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (overall winner, Best First Novel) and a Society of Authors Betty Trask Award. The Electric Michelangelo was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Eurasia Region), and the Prix Femina Étranger, and was longlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. Daughters of the North won the 2006/07 John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the James Tiptree Jr. Award, and was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award for science fiction. How to Paint a Dead Man was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Portico Prize for Fiction. In 2013 Hall was named one of Granta‘s Best Young British Novelists, a prize awarded every ten years, and she won the BBC National Short Story Award and the E. M. Forster Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
This was a departure for me – I’ve been writing that a fair bit lately in my book reviews. It’s been the summer of stretching my reading muscles. I wanted to read it because I find wolves fascinating; I’m in the minority in my corner of the world. Most of the people here want to eliminate them but a pack has moved in across the river and listening to them howl at night is awesome.
Sadly, The Wolf Border is more about people than wolves. In that I was disappointed as the synopsis led me to believe I was getting a wolf story. While the wolves are central to the story they are not really the focus – Rachel and a very unexpected change in her life are. It’s going to be hard to write this without giving too much away but Rachel is a well educated zoologist working on a reservation in Idaho studying wolf behavior when she is presented with the opportunity to return home to England to help a rich Earl reintroduce wolves to that country. At first she is resistant but as life throws her a curve ball she takes him up on the offer and returns home .
The book is written without quotation marks and this drove me a little bit bonkers as you sometimes could not tell where conversations started and ended. Beyond this the writing was very compelling. I read the book in one day because I really didn’t want to put it down. Despite the story being more about people than wolves I really enjoyed it. I would have liked more about the animals but it was still a very good story.
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