The Tenderness of Wolves

The Tenderness of Wolves

Book - 2007
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"A brilliant and breathtaking debut that captivated readers and garnered critical acclaim in the United Kingdom," The Tenderness of Wolves "was long-listed for the Orange Prize in fiction and won the Costa Award (formerly the Whitbread) Book of the Year." The year is 1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on Dove River, a tiny isolated settlement in the Northern Territory, when a man is brutally murdered. Laurent Jammett had been a voyageur for the Hudson Bay Company before an accident lamed him four years earlier. The same accident afforded him the little parcel of land in Dove River, land that the locals called unlucky due to the untimely death of the previous owner. 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 and is now considered a prime suspect. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the crime and to the township -- Andrew Knox, Dove River's elder statesman; Thomas Sturrock, a wily American itinerant trader; Donald Moody, the clumsy young Company representative; William Parker, a half-breed Native American and trapper who was briefly detained for Jammett's murder before becoming Mrs. Ross's guide. But the question remains: do these men want to solve the crime or exploit it? One by one, the searchers set out from Dove River following the tracks across a desolate landscape -- home to only wildanimals, madmen, and fugitives -- variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for seventeen years, and a forgotten Native American culture before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good. In an astonishingly assured debut, Stef Penney deftly weaves adventure, suspense, revelation, and humor into an exhilarating thriller; a panoramic historical romance; a gripping murder mystery; and, ultimately, with the sheer scope and quality of her storytelling, an epic for the ages.
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2007, c2006.
Edition: First Simon & Schuster edition
ISBN: 9781416540748
1416540741
Branch Call Number: PENNEY S
Characteristics: 371 pages ; 25 cm.

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a
altybiz
Jan 06, 2017

Wow--amazing that this is only Stef Penney's first novel! It reads like a tenth! I love how she gives so much depth to so many characters. Great setting in a great era. I was dying to learn who dun it even though I didn't really want it to end. Perfect, perfect novel for the cold weather we've been going through--just sat indoors and lost myself in the story. Wonderfully complex but she took pains to make it easier to pick up the thread of where a particular character or group was headed when a new chapter started. I'll be watching for her future novels.

m
mimihardy
Dec 04, 2016

One of the most beautiful stories I've read in a long time! This is historical fiction at his best.

r
Reads_A_Lot
Jul 17, 2016

Historical fiction, outdoor adventure, and a mystery combined. A bit too many characters and subplots, some of which were left unfinished. Also a bit slow in places. OK, but not great.

s
scotluvr
Jul 19, 2015

This is the kind of book you don't want to finish. It's a beautifully written and totally engrossing story. I loved it.

i
IV27HUjg
Nov 07, 2014

Small print books are readable for a limited number of people! If SPL adds her 2nd book in multiple forms...why not add ebook for her first popular book?

b
bookworm1387
Oct 11, 2014

The author has a vivid imagination and the setting is interesting. There are far too many characters with their own side stories causing the suspense to be entirely lost by the time murderer is confronted. The book ends abruptly leaving all the other side stories dangling. If you do like this book, you might also enjoy the real life biography titled: "Esther: The Remarkable True Story of Esther Wheelwright, Puritan Child, Native Daughter, Mother Superior" by Julie Wheelwright. Also, for a most beautiful depiction of the Canadian woods in winter, read David Adams Richards novel: "The Friends of Meager Fortune".

Helen100 Sep 14, 2014

I was totally captivated with this story. I almost felt that I was the one trudging through the blowing snow looking for my lost son.

I felt that the book did a wonderful job of depicting life in Canada as it truly was in the mid 1800s. There were decent people and there were ruthless people during those times - both white and native. The policies of the Hudson's Bay Company were also examined in an impartial way. There were some truly terrible practices that were used to keep the native people tied to the Company but there was also a certain amount of assistance given.

I am looking forward to reading future novels written by this author.

h
htliang
Jun 26, 2014

I was totally captivated with this story. I almost felt that I was the one trudging through the blowing snow looking for my lost son.

I felt that the book did a wonderful job of depicting life in Canada as it truly was in the mid 1800s. There were decent people and there were ruthless people during those times - both white and native. The policies of the Hudson's Bay Company were also examined in an impartial way. There were some truly terrible practices that were used to keep the native people tied to the Company but there was also a certain amount of assistance given.

I am looking forward to reading future novels written by this author.

e
elos
May 03, 2014

A mystery with a Canadian setting and just drenched in atmosphere. I feel like I found a little gem.

d
dmasuo
Jan 26, 2014

Great book. Loved it.

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notTom Dec 16, 2010

An isolated woodsman is brutally murdered in the small town of Dove River in the bleak and snow-ravaged wilderness of Northern Canada in 1867. Suspicion immediately falls upon the neighbor's missing son. But as the investigation deepens, the case takes a bizarre turn and reveals secrets that cannot stay hidden forever.

This book was the Winner of the 2006 Costa Award, in large part due to the author's terrific description of setting.

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