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Friday, 22 August 2008

The Tenderness of Wolves - Stef Penney

I read this book with one of our library book groups at Westbourne Library. I must admit it was rather late in the day, as it won the Costa in 2006. This book had a very mixed reaction. Whilst we felt that it was amazing that she could write so convincingly about a place she had never been, we all felt that many of the situations in this book were very far fetched, and as such we were unable to suspend belief. For example, would an older woman have been able to survive the punishing journeys across the Canadian Tundra? Stefs style of writing we all agreed was very good, we enjoyed her storytelling but I think what irritated us most was all the loose ends and side alleys that we were led into, There were so many characters and sub-plots that the whole novel seemed rather incoherent and although it is more true to real life the number of sub plots that were never resolved or explained at the end was largely unsatisfying. Good book for a reading group though, we talked for over an hour, without a break!


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