The Tenderness of Wolves

by Stef Penney | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1847240674 Global Overview for this book
Registered by minx2012 on 2/10/2009
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by minx2012 on Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Great writing, it really evokes the environment and atmosphere of the small-town new frontier world, and the wilderness directly outside the town boundaries.
But there are too many characters and subplots, some of which turn out to be all-too-predictable (as does the method of concluding the main plot).
Perhaps this is unsurprising in a first book when it's of this scale - far more experienced writers have struggled to keep a novel as tight as it could be.

I read the first chapter or so of this in the Costa Awards excerpts collection for 2006; it's a great opener, haunting and compelling. Even if the rest of the novel doesn't quite live up to the promise of those first pages, I had to keep reading for the resolution that would offer - with so many questions and tangents, and so many characters it's difficult to feel everything is completely resolved, but Penney does a pretty good job.
I don't think I'm alone in finding Parker one of the best characters. He's so sparely written, so sharply drawn, and yet intriguing because of the glimpses into his private self provided by his interaction with his dogs and patience with Mrs Ross. More should have been made of Sturrock; he's a similar character but from a different world - mercenary but strangely empathetic and much more mysterious than his public history makes him out to be - he deserves a story of his own, because he feels like a spare part here.

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