The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
Simon & Schuster, July 10th, 2007 (Historical Mystery / Confronting the Wilderness)
My rating: Outstanding adventure!
Jaclyn might not agree with me, but I find a certain majesty and beauty in winter. Sometimes, though, I need a little bit of help to appreciate all this season has to offer.
I borrowed The Tenderness of Wolves from the library as a “winter read,” one that would help me get through the snowy wintery February doldrums.
I did not expect it to be one of my favorite books that year. This book is absolutely mesmerizing.
The main narrator (first-person), is a middle-aged adoptive mother of a troubled teenage boy. Other narrators (third-person) include a young, new Company (Hudson Bay) agent, the local magistrate, the boy himself, the clever daughter of the local magistrate, a dapper sexagenarian in search of a mysterious bone tablet, and a young Norwegian widow, who does not fit into the religious community in which she finds herself. All the narrators are compelling characters, but even non-narrating characters are compelling. Each has their own past, often troubled, and some which intertwine.
The story opens when the main narrator, Mrs. Ross, finds the body of one of her neighbors, the only French man in the town of Caulfield near Georgian Bay, in 1866. (more…)