The Wolf Border

by Sarah J. E. Hall

Modern and Contemporary Fiction Books of the Month Family Drama Literary Fiction

LoveReading Expert Review of The Wolf Border

April 2015 Book of the Month.

Shortlisted for the James Tait Black Prize for Fiction 2016.

Rachel has been studying wolves in Idaho but gets seduced back to England when a wealthy earl and politician approaches her to help him reintroduce the grey wolf into a fenced off area of fells in the Lake District.  Rachel also reintroduces herself to her estranged mother and half-brother.  This is part family drama, part wonderful description of wolves, their behaviour and their reproduction (four cubs!), set against Rachel’s pregnancy (a one-night stand), the birth of baby Charlie and the subsequent disruption to her life.  The tale becomes perhaps a tad too domestic until the wolves escape.  Written in the present tense against the backdrop of the Scottish referendum, this is a well-drawn tale with some fine character studies, both animal and human, and a great feel for the countryside.

Sarah Broadhurst

The Wolf Border Synopsis

For almost a decade Rachel Caine has turned her back on home, kept distant by family disputes and her work monitoring wolves on an Idaho reservation. But now, summoned by the eccentric Earl of Annerdale and his controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside, she is back in the peat and wet light of the Lake District. The earl's project harks back to an ancient idyll of untamed British wilderness - though Rachel must contend with modern-day concessions to health and safety, public outrage and political gain - and the return of the Grey after hundreds of years coincides with her own regeneration: impending motherhood, and reconciliation with her estranged family. The Wolf Border investigates the fundamental nature of wilderness and wildness, both animal and human. It seeks to understand the most obsessive aspects of humanity: sex, love, and conflict; the desire to find answers to the question of our existence; those complex systems that govern the most superior creature on earth.

About This Edition

ISBN: 9780571258123
Publication date: 26th March 2015
Author: Sarah J. E. Hall
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 448 pages
Primary Genre Modern and Contemporary Fiction
Other Genres:
Recommendations:
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Closing date: 30/05/2022

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The Good Book Guide Review

Rachel Cain has turned her back on life in England to track wolves on an Idaho reservation, but a series of events draws her home to her native Cumbria. An invitation to help with the ‘rewilding’ of wolves to Britain after three centuries coincides with a last chance to visit her dying mother. At first she is loath to help the Earl of Annerdale, a politically active peer, with his ambitious and unpopular project, which is opposed by farmers and local families. However, an unexpected pregnancy forces Rachel’s hand and she soon finds herself fully occupied, coming to terms with motherhood while overseeing the new wolf enclosure and reacquainting herself with her estranged half-brother Lawrence. Set against the backdrop of a nation about to be divided by Scottish devolution and full of poetic description of the Cumbrian countryside, the plot, full of political and personal twists, moves along at a cracking pace.

Other editions of this book

ISBN: 9780571258123
Publication date: 26/03/2015
Format: Hardback

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About Sarah J. E. Hall

Sarah Hall was born in Cumbria in 1974. She is the prize-winning author of four novels - Haweswater, The Electric Michelangelo, The Carhullan Army and How to Paint a Dead Man - as well as The Beautiful Indifference, a collection of short stories. The first story in the collection, 'Butchers Perfume', was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award, a prize she won in 2013 with 'Mrs Fox'.

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