Monday, 25 June 2007

The Tenderness of Wolves - Stef Penney

I like the cold. Snow and ice is more inviting to me than sun and sand, mainly due to my tendency to burn if in the sun for more than a moment. This book made me feel cold, but in a good way, as I could feel the frozen Canadian winter gradually taking hold while I read. The mystery itself is equally chilling, with the casual assumptions thrown around regarding the indigenous population undoubtedly accurate for the time but no less horrifying for this. The search Mrs Ross undertakes, first for her son, then for the truth, is all the more haunting when she finds herself falling in love with the man who aids her hunt.

Mrs Ross is the only first person POV character, making the book seem to be about her journey, but the other characters who are shown through the third person in their own chapters are equally compelling. I also found it interesting that the Seton girls subplot was only half-solved, but it felt right that the ends were not tied too tightly. Another loose end that really couldn't have gone anywhere other than into the Canadian wilderness was the bone tablet with possible Native American writings. A fascinating idea, highlighting the perceived disparities between the cultures of the native peoples and the 'invading' Europeans.

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