• Hardcover: 448 pages
• Publisher: Harper (June 9, 2015)
A literary masterpiece about the reintroduction of wild wolves into the United Kingdom.
I was expecting a plot focusing on wolves, needless to say that’s not what was delivered. The plot focuses on Rachel, her pregnancy and dysfunctional family along with a myriad of other personal challenges. The wolves aspect serves as a minimal secondary narrative, what was introduced was fascinating only leaving me hankering for much more.
Rachel is a peculiar character – intricate, aloof, loner, incredibly private, fiercely independent and a commitment phobic. She possesses a keen eye for observation which creates her interaction with others enlightening. I found her lukewarm in the beginning, came to understand her more in the middle and felt a warmth towards her in the later part of the story. Her passion and softer side is exposed when she is immersed in the world of her beloved wolves. She grows as a woman managing to slough off her rough untouchable exterior, her heart softens, she’s less rigid.
I must say the pace was lethargic, unbearable at times. Don’t expect this to be a fast pace read by any means, the snail wins the race here. Hall’s fluid graceful prose kept me from calling it quits.
Despite being let down by the summary, Hall’s stellar writing kept my attention. Her manipulation of language more than compensated for flaws. Vivid depictions of the surrounding areas, wolves were quite stunning.
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.
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