08 November 2007

The Tenderness of Wolves (Stef Penney)

Novels set in snowy climes never resonate with me, perhaps because their plots are always messily entangled with the weather – yielding trite images like blood on snow, footprints on snow, frantic refuge from snow. The Tenderness of Wolves, despite rave reviews and award wins, is one of these. Set in the Canadian outback in 1867, Stef Penney’s debut novel begins with murder and a search for the young suspect. One by one, groups of people with diverse motivations become embroiled in the matter. There are insights into the personalities, relationships and social norms at play – but this novel is no masterpiece.


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