History of Wolves

History of Wolves

A Novel

eBook - 2017
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""So delicately calibrated and precisely beautiful that one might not immediately sense the sledgehammer of pain building inside this book. And I mean that in the best way. What powerful tension and depth this provides!"-Aimee Bender. Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesn't understand. Over the course of a few days, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do-and fail to do-for the people they love. Winner of the McGinnis-Ritchie award for its first chapter, Emily Fridlund's propulsive and gorgeously written History of Wolves introduces a new writer of enormous range and talent"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY :, Atlantic Monthly Press,, 2017
ISBN: 9780802189776
Characteristics: text file,rda
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor


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smc_1 Feb 17, 2018

Atmospheric, bleak, beautifully-written read - with an unpredictable, looming sense of dread. About isolation, belonging, family and coming-of-age. Grab a cozy blanket, a mug of something warm and indulge!

Nov 29, 2017

This is a haunting book - recommended if you are looking for something serious and disturbing. It was easy to feel lonely, sad, and confused all at the same time while reading it. I picked up this book knowing nothing about the plot - I thought it would be about someone who lives in the woods with wolves (this book has nothing to do with wolves). I didn't see it heading the direction it did (I try to avoid books with kids dying in them). It is beautifully written in many parts. The subplot with Lily and the teacher wasn't necessary, in my opinion. I'd like to read the author's next book.

Nov 28, 2017

This book was short-listed for the 2017 Man Booker Prize but I really can’t work out why. It does well enough as a first novel – and perhaps that is its appeal – but it doesn’t have the depth or skill that I would expect in a shortlist for an award of the calibre of the Man Booker. (That said, the Booker shortlist is not necessarily a fool-proof guide to quality!) Its shortlisting only serves to highlight its shortcomings.
The descriptions of landscape are excellent, especially those of the snow that blankets the lake and isolates them even further. But there are too many themes in the book (belonging, dominance, the distinction between act and intent) and the writer labours them. It’s not a bad book by any means and, indeed, I enjoyed reading it, but the marketing world of the Man Booker Prize has shifted it beyond its grade, and done it a disservice.

For my full review, see https://residentjudge.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/history-of-wolves-by-emily-fridlund/

Nov 07, 2017


Oct 06, 2017

A rare, intelligent, honest book. It made me think about isolation, the way one person can blind another, about desire and the worlds of guilt and loneliness a person can carry within themselves. I hope it wins the Booker this month!

TSCPL_Miranda Aug 28, 2017

Compelling, lyrical, and skillfully crafted. The narrative voice is distinct and the story is memorable. Bonus: it inspired me with ideas for my own writing.

Jun 18, 2017

A wonderfully written debut coming of age novel about Madeline the 14 year old resident of a former commune and her summer babysitting 4 year old Paul and resulting interaction with his parents Petra and Leo. Lots of great foreshadowing that something terrible happens that summer and the reflections of adult Madeline about the lasting damage.

Apr 27, 2017

I did not enjoy this book at all, and was pretty disappointed given the positive reviews I read about this book on Goodreads. I found the story jumbled and not very interesting. There were some interesting points in the book (like the commune she grew up in), but I felt they were skipped over and not given any attention. I did not really like any of the characters in this book. This was the first book that I have read in almost a year where I could not finish it. For about the last 50 pages, I just scanned the book to see if anything exciting happened (it didn't). The synopsis of this book makes it's going to be a huge mystery or a huge turn of events at some point, and I felt it fell flat. This is not a book I would recommend.

Apr 22, 2017

This was the most frustrating book I have every read. Most of the first half of the book appears to be setting up the story. There is way too much description and wanderings of the mind. It is like reading a teenage diary. The book begins with Linda's very early teens and after half way through jumps around from her twenties, back to early childhood, teens and then another age intermittently. The main event of the story seems to happen when she is fifteen and Paul should have been five. Yet the consequences of the event occur when they are fourteen and four. Everything is hinted to, jumbled up and never connected. It seemed to me the author was trying to give the reader tidbits of the story for the three different events. I forced myself to read it all hoping to make sense out of it...just like Linda was hoping to make sense out of her life. I found that there is nothing beneficial to the reading of this book.

multcolib_karene Mar 12, 2017

Part contemporary coming-of-age novel, part suspense novel, and all parts are wonderful! Beautiful language and a fascinating, complicated protagonist.

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