The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney
A Novel

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Synopsis

1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead man's cabin head north towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township - journalists, Hudson's Bay Company men, trappers, traders - but do they want to solve the crime or exploit it? One-by-one the assembled searchers set out from Dove River, pursuing the tracks across a desolate landscape home only to wild animals, madmen and fugitives, variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for 17 years, a Native American culture, and a fortune in stolen furs 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 humour into a panoramic historical romance, an exhilarating thriller, a keen murder mystery and ultimately, with the sheer scope and quality of her storytelling, one of the books of the year.
 

About Stef Penney

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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.
 
Published January 1, 2006 by Simon & Schuster. 466 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Tenderness of Wolves

Kirkus Reviews

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British filmmaker Penney sets her intriguing, well-wrought novel in a 19th-century Canadian farming community up-ended by the murder of a lone fur trapper.

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Publishers Weekly

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The frigid isolation of European immigrants living on the 19th-century Canadian frontier is the setting for British author Penney’s haunting debut. Seventeen-year-old Francis Ross disappears

May 28 2007 | Read Full Review of The Tenderness of Wolves: A N...

The Guardian

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The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney (Quercus, £7.99) Some eyebrows were raised when it was announced that Stef Penney had won the Costa (previously Whitbread) first novel award: although it is set in Canada, she had done all the research for her novel in the British Library and, being agor...

Mar 03 2007 | Read Full Review of The Tenderness of Wolves: A N...

The Bookbag

Some books are well-researched, but you feel that every bit of research has been ploughed back into the book.

Nov 25 2014 | Read Full Review of The Tenderness of Wolves: A N...

BookPage

Constantly encompassing the novel's multilayered plot is the landscape itself vast and unpopulated, with dangerously frigid temperatures and endless stretches of snow and ice where first Mrs. Ross and a half-breed tracker, then two Hudson Bay Company men, set off to find Francis and the murderer,...

Sep 25 2015 | Read Full Review of The Tenderness of Wolves: A N...

BookPage

Constantly encompassing the novel's multilayered plot is the landscape itself vast and unpopulated, with dangerously frigid temperatures and endless stretches of snow and ice where first Mrs. Ross and a half-breed tracker, then two Hudson Bay Company men, set off to find Francis and the murderer,...

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Reviewing the Evidence

As the journey progresses, and the characters become inextricably entwined within the plot, the book reveals clashes of culture and class as well as repression of spirit, loves, loneliness and isolation of people pushed to the very margins of a pioneering but unsophisticated society.

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Historical Novel Society

If I had to review this book in six words, it would be “Stop everything and read this novel.” It is set in the remote Canadian settlement of Dove River in 1867.

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https://bookpage.com

It's also a historical family saga, focusing on Mrs. Ross, who discovers the murdered trapper, and who came to this remote part of Canada with her husband Angus from Scotland as part of the mid-19th-century Highland Clearances.

Feb 19 2016 | Read Full Review of The Tenderness of Wolves: A N...

Bookmarks Magazine

Although a murder mystery with many plot twists, the novel most successfully reveals complex human desires, motivations, and relationships.

Oct 05 2007 | Read Full Review of The Tenderness of Wolves: A N...

Reader Rating for The Tenderness of Wolves
75%

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