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The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

The Tenderness of Wolves (2006)

by Stef Penney

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2,0521123,247 (3.76)385
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English (106)  Spanish (4)  Norwegian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (112)
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
I had not picked this up before, despite it's prize winning status, and despite my wife's book group rating it highly. Then I read "The Loneliness Of Others" which convinced me that I should try her debut. I am very glad I did!
The narrative style is interesting, being mainly third person, but using "the historical present" (thanks to another reviewer for that) when the heroine narrates. The descriptive writing about the wilderness is likely to linger in my memory for a long while. The plotting is intricate, with a few surprising twists and turns and much of the characterisation interesting.
Some reviewers have tried to place this book in the "crime/thriller" genre, almost as to try to diminish it (ASIDE - in my view two of the very best writers in the English language, James Lee Burke and Ian Rankin work in the genre, so why would such categorisation diminish any book?) but, in any case it does not belong there.
I look forward to Stef Penney's future books. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
An excellent mystery set in Ontario during the times when the Hudson's Bay Company was the end all and be all of the country. I loved the diversity of the characters, the hunt for the killer, and the references to places I know. The combination made for good reading.
( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
It's simply an old-fashioned, exciting tale. By 'old-fashioned', I mean it's a story with a beginning, a middle, and an end; solidly drawn characters; exciting action that moves crisply along and a setting that is a character is its own right.

Set in the Canadian winter wilderness of the mid 1860's, the harshness of the natural surroundings is a major element in the story.

Blends elements of a murder mystery, romance and historical fiction in one pleasing package. ( )
1 vote borbet | Oct 21, 2014 |
Th8is is a 2006 novel written by a woman in Scotland who had never been to Canada. It is laid in 1867 in the country around Hudson Bay. There is lots of treking through snow and cold, as a number of people try to determine who killed and scalped a French trader. Mrs. Ross seeks to show it was not her son, though the son does not do things to avoid suspicion. I found the splotchy way of telling the story less than enlightening and would have liked a clearer denouement. And wolves played little role in the story. ( )
2 vote Schmerguls | Oct 4, 2014 |
I haven't had such a love/hate relationship with a novel in years.

the setting, the characters, the world-building, the visuals, and the story.

the style/structure.

It's aggravatingly apparent that Penney is a screenwriter first and a beginner novelist. Parts of the book are grossly underwritten and sweeping visuals stand in for logical segues. But at the same time, the setting is a character in its own right and gets to play (wonderfully) with metaphor.

Can I give it 3.5 stars? Parts are really wonderful, especially the longest, most fully written scenes.

Also, yay for more historical queer romance. :) ( )
1 vote sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 106 (next | show all)
I read The Tenderness of Wolves and fell into the story right away; the characters were well drawn and Penney is able to lead the reader from one page to the next.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Times, Alyson Rudd (Jun 23, 2007)
There are few things like an endless vista to make a novel seem really gratifyingly contained. The novel itself comes to seem like a fragile bubble of consciousness beyond whose limits is a threatening void. (And that's what novels, in one essential manner, are.) And living in the rudimentary civilisation of mid 19th-century Canada must have been like living in a novel: there is nothing to concentrate on except the flawed characters of your fellow human beings, and the spoor left by their movements. And that, in a way, is all The Tenderness of Wolves is about.
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The last time I saw Laurent Jammet, he was in Scott's store with a dead wolf over his shoulder.
Laurenta Jammeta sem nazadnje videla v Scottovi trgovini z mrtvim volkom čez ramo.
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Book description
1867, Canada

As winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a woman steels herself for the journey of a lifetime. A man has been brutally murdered and her seventeen-year-old son has disappeared. The violence has re-opened old wounds and inflamed deep-running tensions in the frontier township - some want to solve the crime; others seek only to exploit it.

To clear her son's name, she has no choice but to follow the tracks leaving the dead man's cabin and head north into the forest and the desolate landscape that lies beyond it....
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1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on Dove River, an isolated settlement in Canada's Northern Territory, when a man is brutally murdered. A local woman, Mrs. Ross, stumbles upon the crime scene and sees tracks leading from the dead man's cabin north toward the forest and the tundra beyond. But soon she makes another discovery: her son has disappeared and is now considered a prime suspect. A variety of outsiders are drawn to the crime and to the township--but do they want to solve the crime or exploit it? One by one, searchers set out to follow the tracks across a desolate landscape, 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.--From publisher description.… (more)

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