Book Review: The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall
July 22, 2015 5 Comments
Harper (publisher) says: “For almost a decade, zoologist Rachel Caine has lived a solitary existence far from her estranged family in England, monitoring wolves in a remote section of Idaho as part of a wildlife recovery program. But a surprising phone call takes her back to the peat and wet light of the Lake District where she grew up. The eccentric Earl of Annerdale has a controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside, and he wants Rachel to spearhead the project. Though she’s skeptical, the earl’s lands are close to the village where she grew up, and where her aging mother now lives.
While the earl’s plan harks back to an ancient idyll of untamed British wilderness, Rachel must contend with modern-day realities—health and safety issues, public anger and fear, cynical political interests. But the return of the Grey unexpectedly sparks her own regeneration.
Exploring the fundamental nature of wilderness and wildness, The Wolf Border illuminates both our animal nature and humanity: sex, love, conflict, and the desire to find answers to the question of our existence—the emotions, desires, and needs that rule our lives.”
The Wolf Border: What I thought
This was not a page turner. It took me a long time to read this, but that was partially because I was too busy to read. Yes, it is possible to be too busy to read (I didn’t realize this either, until it happened to me).
But it’s a beautiful book about a woman, Rachel, who returns to England after years in the US. Her only acquaintance is an estranged brother. So she starts all over again getting to know people and dealing with them. Although she seems a bit of a loner, it isn’t long before she has friendly and supportive people around her.
The story has a quiet pace, and not really all that much happens. But there are some interesting characters, such as Rachel’s brother Lawrence, and the earl of the estate where she works, that made me interested enough to keep reading. There is a bit of excitement, but only in the last 15% or so.
I loved reading about the wolves that are released in the park and about the scenery around the estate. I wasn’t too attached to Rachel, but when something happened to the wolves, I was more worried about how she would take it than about the wolves themselves. So, somewhere along the way, I started to become sympathetic towards to somewhat cool and detached Rachel.
Read it if you enjoy books about nature, solitude and strained relationships.
Rating: 4 (out of 5)
Number of pages: 448
First published: 2015
I got this book: from the publisher for an honest review
Genre: contemporary fiction
Also read by this author: The Carhullan Army