Stephanie's Reviews > The Tenderness of Wolves

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
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Sep 02, 13


Wolves is another historical fiction account, taking place in the wilderness of unsettled Ontario, after the heyday of the Hudson Bay Company. This story has complex characters; the main narrative is in the first person, from a married woman who emigrated from Great Britain and settled with her husband, now with a teen son. She begins as a hard character but her softness is revealed throughout the novel and by the end, she is an extremely likable, and sympathetic, character. There are also chapters written in the third person narrative, from the points of view of her son, a representative of the HBC, an old magistrate of the town, and that man's grown daughter. All of the characters play into the larger and main plot of a murder and a disappearance, and all experience their own journeys. I almost always find it interesting to read about the culture of First Nations people, and there is a layer of that as well. I was surprised to read that this is Penney's first novel, as it is so well done with layers of narrative and plotlines and character development. Also somewhat surprising that Penny is from Scotland, not Canada, as this novel would be a great addition to a Canadian literature collection.
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