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The Tenderness of Wolves

Penney, Stef (Book - 2007 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Tenderness of Wolves
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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 wild animals, 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.
Authors: Penney, Stef
Title: The tenderness of wolves
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2007.
Characteristics: 371 p. ;,25 cm.
ISBN: 9781416540748
1416540741
Statement of Responsibility: Stef Penney
Subject Headings: Trappers Crimes against Fiction. Missing persons Fiction. Frontier and pioneer life Canada Fiction. Canada History 1841-1867 Fiction.
Genre/Form: Mystery fiction.
Suspense fiction.
Historical fiction.
Topical Term: Trappers
Missing persons
Frontier and pioneer life
LCCN: 2006100796
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Jun 26, 2014
  • htliang rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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.

May 03, 2014
  • elos rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

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

Jan 26, 2014
  • dmasuo rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Great book. Loved it.

"In 19th-century Canada, a local trapper has been viciously killed, his throat cut and his head scalped. A teenage boy who was friends with the dead man is missing, and his footsteps lead away from the cabin into the cold, unforgiving wilderness. Determined to find him, his mother sets out from their snow-covered settlement, aided by a half-Indian trader. But they aren't the only ones interested in finding the boy; others are on the move, too. This debut novel - written by an agoraphobic author who had never been to Canada - won Britain's prestigious Costa Book of the Year Award in 2006." Fiction A to Z November 2013 newsletter http://www.nextreads.com/Display2.aspx?SID=5acc8fc1-4e91-4ebe-906d-f8fc5e82a8e0&N=700674

Oct 29, 2013
  • tinacat1961 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

great read! I got totally sucked in! couldnt put it down!

Apr 11, 2013
  • eggyolks rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Moody, atmospheric, and touching.

Nov 17, 2012
  • erinsnest rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Nov 11 2012.....haven't started this yet, another find while shelving books as a volunteer at the library....read the first page and had to bring it home!......after reading the comments, I can hardly wait to get started....must finish Farley's "Born Naked" first though!......Nov 12 2012 started it.......loving it......Nov 17 2012.....thoroughly enjoyed reading this, but.....not at all like I expected it to be, or end......I am going to start her next novel "The Invisible Ones" right away. I am definitely intrigued by her writing!

Nov 04, 2012
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Part mystery - part history. A very enjoyable multi layered murder mystery that takes place in the mid 1800's during a cold Canadian winter. Great atmosphere and plot. I found I was more interested in why the murder took place than in who actually did it. I look forward to this author's new book - The Invisible Ones.

Sep 06, 2012
  • KarenW rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Capturing the reality of winter in Canada during the 1860's this novel is more than a murder mystery. It is about the inner workings of the minds of the characters told in each of their unique voices. This not only catapults the reader into the action of the story but brings to fiction some of the most wonderfully drawn people and setting that I have ever encountered. The ending is not the conclusion but the beginning in so many ways.

Jul 13, 2011
  • Jennmro rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Best book I've read all year! I was skeptical at first but by the second page, I was IN IT TO WIN IT! It was exciting, dangerous, sweet, and I was immediately caught up in the story and attached to the characters. It was one of the those books that you can't bear to put down, but can't bear to read because then it will have been read and will be over and you'll never get to read it for the first time ever again! Did I mention that I really liked it? Because I did.

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Dec 16, 2010
  • notTom rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

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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Feb 25, 2013
  • becker rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

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