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Stef Penney

Author of The Tenderness of Wolves

6 Works 3,351 Members 209 Reviews 6 Favorited

About the Author

Works by Stef Penney

The Tenderness of Wolves (2006) 2,582 copies
The Invisible Ones (2011) 556 copies
Under a Pole Star (2016) 190 copies
The Beasts of Paris (2023) 19 copies
The Finalists (2007) 3 copies
The Worst Journey in the World: Radio Play — Radio Adaptation — 1 copy


Common Knowledge



Picked this up at random in the library but was not disappointed. Set in Paris at the time of the Franco Prussian War (knew nothing about this), the story follows several character whose lives overlap. One man works as a vet in the zoon, a young woman who is living in a hospital for the insane, a young American Civil War veteran who worked as a surgeon but wants to write poetry, and a young man from rural Canada who is looking to escape this his narrow life. Paris is the "City of Lights" with so much excitement, everyone is optimistic and life is good. However, when France invades Germany, life begins to change even though people think it could never happen.

The story follows the two young men who eventually become lovers, Anne, the young woman who manages to leave the hospital and gain some independence, and the man who does all he can to protect the animals.

The story was interesting, I liked the characters who were all believable, and I learned a bit of European history.
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maryreinert | Jan 9, 2024 |
The Tenderness of Wolves by Step Penny - A review

In my opinion, the novel was not meant to be about wolves, but that humans are more the savage beasts in dealing with their own kind, than wolves.
ourBooksLuvUs | 134 other reviews | Aug 20, 2023 |
Fairly melodramatic. There's too much here, too many not-quite-resolved and seemingly irrelevant characters and arcs, and the ending doesn't provide a real conclusion except in a shallow epic-movie sort of way. I also felt the section breaks were unnecessary on top of the shifting 1st/3rd person POVs. Still there were some moments of good writing, and the fear of wide and empty spaces read true.
Kiramke | 134 other reviews | Jun 27, 2023 |
Don't let the length of UNDER A POLE STAR put you off. I put off reading it for years, and now I wish it hadn't taken me so long. Even though it's a hefty book, when I got to the end I wanted it to be longer.

This is historical fiction, not a mystery, no matter how your library may classify it.

I would never have thought that a book about Arctic exploration during the late 19th century would interest me. But this is the setting, mostly. On a personal level, you'll learn about living in these extreme circumstances. You'll understand what the characters loved.

I dislike romance novels, and this is not that. Yet this story revolves around Flora, who heads a British expedition to Northern Greenland, and Jakob, a geologist with an American expedition. Their love works best there, and you'll wish they never left.

It's important that you understand: this is not a romance novel. There, I repeated it. It can be a tearjerker, though.

UNDER A POLE STAR is splendid historical fiction, and I don't know how anyone could rate it anything less than five stars. But, because the library, mine, anyhow, calls it a mystery, anyone who picks it up and expects that genre will be disappointed.
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techeditor | 12 other reviews | Jun 1, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Apsley Cherry-Garrard Author of original book
Adam Sims Narrator



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