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The Tenderness of Wolves

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The Tenderness of Wolves Cover

ISBN13: 9781416571308
ISBN10: 1416571302
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A brilliant and breathtaking debut that captivated readers and garnered critical acclaim in the United Kingdom, The Tenderness of Wolves was long-listed for the Orange Prize in fiction and won the Costa Award (formerly the Whitbread) Book of the Year.

The year is 1867. Winter has just tightened its grip on Dove River, a tiny isolated settlement in the Northern Territory, when a man is brutally murdered. Laurent Jammett had been a voyageur for the Hudson Bay Company before an accident lamed him four years earlier. The same accident afforded him the little parcel of land in Dove River, land that the locals called unlucky due to the untimely death of the previous owner.

A local woman, Mrs. Ross, stumbles upon the crime scene and sees the tracks leading from the dead man's cabin north toward the forest and the tundra beyond. It is Mrs. Ross's knock on the door of the largest house in Caulfield that launches the investigation. Within hours she will regret that knock with a mother's love — for soon she makes another discovery: her seventeen-year-old son Francis has disappeared and is now considered a prime suspect.

In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the crime and to the township — Andrew Knox, Dove River's elder statesman; Thomas Sturrock, a wily American itinerant trader; Donald Moody, the clumsy young Company representative; William Parker, a half-breed Native American and trapper who was briefly detained for Jammett's murder before becoming Mrs. Ross's guide. But the question remains: do these men want to solve the crime or exploit it?

One by one, the searchers set out from Dove River following the tracks across a desolate landscape — home to only wild animals, madmen, and fugitives — 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.

In an astonishingly assured debut, Stef Penney deftly weaves adventure, suspense, revelation, and humor into an exhilarating thriller; a panoramic historical romance; a gripping murder mystery; and, ultimately, with the sheer scope and quality of her storytelling, an epic for the ages.

Review:

"Stef Penney, who in an even more unusual coup, won the first novel prize with a murder saga, The Tenderness of Wolves. The (Costa) judges said it made them feel "enveloped in the snowy wastes" of Canada in 1867. Penney, agoraphobic at the time, did all her research in the British Library." The Guardian

Review:

"Confident and complex portrait of 1860s Ontario. . . . Between twists and turns of plot, Penney evokes the land — its shades of light and changes of weather, its marshes and treacherous waters. Rarely has winter seemed so febrile. . . . This one is a powerhouse." Books of Canada

Review:

"An original and readable mixture of mystery and history, with a good dollop of old-fashioned adventure." The Times (London)

Review:

"A fascinating, suspense-filled adventure, a refreshing contrast to the conventional murder mystery." The Sunday Telegraph (London)

Review:

"An entertaining, well-constructed mystery . . . sexy, suspenseful, densely plotted storytelling . . . a novel with far greater ambitions than your average thriller, combining as it does the themes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness with Atwood's Survival, and lashing them to a story that morphs Ian Rankin with The Mad Trapper of Rat River." The Globe and Mail (Canada)

Review:

"A quite remarkable debut novel set in the snowy backwoods of Canada in 1867 . . . atmospheric and delicately written mystery."Birmingham Post

Review:

"Penney's descriptions of the harsh landscape and the deprivation of living there are vivid and excellent." The Daily Telegraph (Australia)

Review:

"The novel works itself up to a blizzard of a climax wherein most of the mysteries — murderous, romantic, filial and sexual 7#151; are solved. There's history, adventure, wit, and suspense. It's no surprise that The Tenderness of Wolves won Britain's Costa Book of the Year in 2006. Americans should also love this book." Philadelphia Inquirer

Review:

"The author is a recovering agoraphobic. And she claims to have never set foot in Canada. The latter is a remarkable fact, considering what a vivid sense of place Penney has provided, and certainly speaks to the author's imaginative talents. But the former hints at the novel's underlying power. Canada is only a metaphor for a far more isolated and lonely setting: the human soul." Minneapolis Star Tribune

Review:

"[An] elegiac musing on the nature of isolation." Christian Science Monitor

Review:

"[A] first-class murder mystery, which must be doubly commended considering that the setting and the time." St. Petersburg Times

About the Author

Stef Penney was born and grew up in Edinburgh. After earning a degree in philosophy and theology from Bristol University, she turned to filmmaking, studying film and TV at Bournemouth College of Art. On graduation she was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme. She is a screenwriter. The Tenderness of Wolves is her first novel.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Carolyn Hayes, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Carolyn Hayes)
This story and its' telling drew me in immediately. Canadian wilderness in winter and a murder mystery. Great characters and political destinies.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
ozerck, February 18, 2009 (view all comments by ozerck)
Stef Penney has flawlessly interwoven several threads and several characters into a whole story that never becomes confusing. Along the way she dropped revealing bombshells that made me sit up and pay attention, all the while wondering where she was taking me. The characters are real and the landscape is one of the coldest I've entered in the fictional world. Love, adventure, and mystery make this book a rewarding experience.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 9 readers found this comment helpful)
niceface28, December 29, 2008 (view all comments by niceface28)
I was hooked on this wonderful book by the end of the first paragraph. Ms. Penney's natural writing style gently jumps from first person to third person to tell this sweet mystery filled with unforgettable relationships during a very cold winter in 1800s Canada.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 17 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781416571308
Author:
Penney, Stef
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster
Subject:
Mystery & Detective - Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Missing persons
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Mystery Historical
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20080331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
400
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 12.215 oz

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Historical
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

The Tenderness of Wolves Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$2.95 In Stock
Product details 400 pages Simon & Schuster - English 9781416571308 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Stef Penney, who in an even more unusual coup, won the first novel prize with a murder saga, The Tenderness of Wolves. The (Costa) judges said it made them feel "enveloped in the snowy wastes" of Canada in 1867. Penney, agoraphobic at the time, did all her research in the British Library."
"Review" by , "Confident and complex portrait of 1860s Ontario. . . . Between twists and turns of plot, Penney evokes the land — its shades of light and changes of weather, its marshes and treacherous waters. Rarely has winter seemed so febrile. . . . This one is a powerhouse."
"Review" by , "An original and readable mixture of mystery and history, with a good dollop of old-fashioned adventure." (London)
"Review" by , "A fascinating, suspense-filled adventure, a refreshing contrast to the conventional murder mystery." (London)
"Review" by , "An entertaining, well-constructed mystery . . . sexy, suspenseful, densely plotted storytelling . . . a novel with far greater ambitions than your average thriller, combining as it does the themes of Conrad's Heart of Darkness with Atwood's Survival, and lashing them to a story that morphs Ian Rankin with The Mad Trapper of Rat River." (Canada)
"Review" by , "A quite remarkable debut novel set in the snowy backwoods of Canada in 1867 . . . atmospheric and delicately written mystery."
"Review" by , "Penney's descriptions of the harsh landscape and the deprivation of living there are vivid and excellent." (Australia)
"Review" by , "The novel works itself up to a blizzard of a climax wherein most of the mysteries — murderous, romantic, filial and sexual 7#151; are solved. There's history, adventure, wit, and suspense. It's no surprise that The Tenderness of Wolves won Britain's Costa Book of the Year in 2006. Americans should also love this book."
"Review" by , "The author is a recovering agoraphobic. And she claims to have never set foot in Canada. The latter is a remarkable fact, considering what a vivid sense of place Penney has provided, and certainly speaks to the author's imaginative talents. But the former hints at the novel's underlying power. Canada is only a metaphor for a far more isolated and lonely setting: the human soul."
"Review" by , "[An] elegiac musing on the nature of isolation."
"Review" by , "[A] first-class murder mystery, which must be doubly commended considering that the setting and the time."
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