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The Wolf Pit

3.8  ·  Rating details ·  35 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
A powerful, intimate look at the Civil War on the home and battle fronts, The Wolf Pit is Marly Youmans's third and most accomplished novel. In it Robin, a young Confederate soldier and witness to the horrors of war, clings to what gives him strength: family pictures, psalms, and an old legend about a pair of mysterious green children found in a wolf pit. Robin carries the ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published February 3rd 2003 by Mariner Books (first published 2001)
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Feb 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Wolf Pit contains two somewhat parallel stories. We are first introduced to Robin, a Virginian fighting in the Civil War in the days surrounding the battle at The Crater. Shortly thereafter, we meet a slave named Agate.

Robin and Agate, and the people by whom they are surrounded, are very interesting characters. (There's a thread that runs throughout regarding the characters in a book that Robin is reading that I found much less interesting, sadly.) They each have several dramatic experience
Aug 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
A historical novel set during the Civil War, with alternating narrators: a Confederate soldier from the Shenandoah Valley who's captured & taken to a prison camp in Elmira, New York; and a mulatto slave who's had her tongue cut out by her father/owner. The book contains some of the most powerful and moving writing that I've read in a while, and the characters are compelling, but the narrative is occasionally confusing.
Renee Yann
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
A powerful and beautifully-written book which brings its character out of the historical context of the Civil War and renders them human. The reader is led to fully understand that the young men who died, the mothers and sisters left behind, the slaves freed, the "masters" challenged were all living, breathing people with multi-layered lives. Good job!
Holly Metzger
Jul 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the type of story that draws you into it. It was two tales in one that left me wanting more after I finished the book. I love historical literature especially about the Civil War. The Wolf Pit showed me a different side of the war. It was more about the people and their heartache. I highly recommend this book.
Mar 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
For me a good book needs to reel me in, hold me tight, and feed my soul.
There must be captivating characters that I come to care about,
and storytelling that makes me long to steal away to my Reading Chair,
and if the book teaches me a few things along the way, well that's a plus.
This book, with its multiple storylines, did all of the above.
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Riveting. Beautifully explores what violence, separation, loss, loyalty, compassion, and freedom can mean to us. True and fine. The description fails to mention that the book is really two stories, one of the soldier, Robin, and second is of Agate, an enslaved woman. Both stories are compelling and crucial.
Jennifer Miera
Apr 23, 2008 rated it liked it
Only made it about 1/2 way. Not nearly as good as Catherwood.
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"Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers." --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

MAZE OF BLOOD (Mercer University Press, 2015.) Novel. Inspired by the life of Robert E. Howard. Profusely decorated by artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Literary / fantastic. "...A haunting tale of dark obsessions and transcendent creative fire, rend
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