download Prime The Tenderness of WolvesAuthor Stef Penney – Mariahilff.de

Sometimes insightful remarks are made which are so reductive they have the power to diminish life even as they explain it In 1939 Alfred Hitchcock explained in a lecture at Columbia University We have a name in the studio, and we call it the MacGuffin It is the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story In crook stories it is almost always the necklace and in spy stories it is most always the papers Wikipedia elaborates A MacGuffin is a plot device that motivates the characte Sometimes insightful remarks are made which are so reductive they have the power to diminish life even as they explain it In 1939 Alfred Hitchcock explained in a lecture at Columbia University We have a name in the studio, and we call it the MacGuffin It is the mechanical element that usually crops up in any story In crook stories it is almost always the necklace and in spy stories it is most always the papers Wikipedia elaborates A MacGuffin is a plot device that motivates the characters or advances the story, but the details of which are of little or no importance otherwise The element that distinguishes a MacGuffin from other types of plot devices is that it is not important what the object specifically is Anything that serves as a motivation will do.This is one of the principal reasons why spy and mystery novels bore the living bejesus out of me, and alas, when I realised The Tenderness of Wolves was not, in fact, a cookery book as I had been led to believe, I found it was a mystery novel, a stone whodunnit in fact The victim is murdered because of the big fat MacGuffin which in this book takes the form of a bone tablet which some guys think is valuable because it may indicate there once was a literate Indian society So in this book people do a lot of following trails, which as this book takes place in the Frozen North are actual footprints in the snow I won t give the ending away, but they do so much tracking they almost find the Woozle I liked the chaotic flailing about which takes up most of the plot, it reminded me of two great Coen Brothers movies, Blood Simple and Fargo But enjoying the bafflement of others only takes you so far The other thing which bugged me about this book was The Historical Present It s weird enough when authors write in the first person past tense but you can suspend enough disbelief and imagine if the self consciousness of reading imaginary narratives ever surfaces that you are hearing a perfect recollection by the narrator The Historical Present smashes this conceitI am not gentle but he makes no sound as I clean the wounds with rubbing alcohol He has his eyes shut From the corner of my eye Parker seems to be watching usThat kind of thing It s a strange idea instead of the perfect recollection the perfect real time self description like you are on an advanced driving testDescribe your observations Mr Bryant In my rear view mirror I see a black Fiat Punto with a blond male driver and a woman with a leopardskin coat, can t see if it s fake fur but I am assuming so now I am making a left turn into Cold Potato Street, avoiding the cyclist who has large earrings and is weaving slightly as his panniers are overfilled And finally this book was famously written by a woman who suffered so much from agrophobia that she did not leave a wooden box measuring three feet by six feet by ten feet for over two years So the book was written entirely out of research and imagination she would poke her arm out of the box and friends would place interesting articles about Ancient Canada into her open hand I like this idea a lot because after all, fiction is made up, and I have little time for autobiographical coming of age novels except for Edmund White However if I look at the author blurb and I see John Weebblebeeble has been a lecturer at the Creative Writing School of the University of Do As You like, Minnesota for 37 years or I see John Weeblebeeble has been employed variously as a prizefighter, royal embroiderer, catamite, chef on board a nuclear submarine and private detective John was born Stephanie MacGuffin and transgendered at the age of 31 He now lives in a community for the blind and limbless in Katmandu I kind of get the notion that the latter s interesting experiences will make the better writer Literature proves this prejudice nonsense, but it lingers This is a frustrating novel on so many levels It s one of those books you read where it could and should be brilliant, but suffers from an excess of trying to be too clever, hip and cutting edge in character development and writing technique.The POV changes constantly from first person to third person in a sometimes confusing, backtrack several paragraphs to figure out who is talking kind of way There are far, far too many characters and storylines happening as well This would be ok if each s This is a frustrating novel on so many levels It s one of those books you read where it could and should be brilliant, but suffers from an excess of trying to be too clever, hip and cutting edge in character development and writing technique.The POV changes constantly from first person to third person in a sometimes confusing, backtrack several paragraphs to figure out who is talking kind of way There are far, far too many characters and storylines happening as well This would be ok if each storyline was distinct and wrapped up by the book s end Unfortunately, they aren t, and it left me with a big ole WTH happened to by the last page Lastly, this book tapped into one of my reader pet peeves assigning present day moires within a historical context I m sorry, but I have a really hard time shallowing a gay fur trapper in 1860 s Canada a regrettable choice of words on my part, I ll admit Then again, perhaps the only beaver he could access was the kind with silky fur and sharp front teeth, and he turned to men instead who knows Anyway, this book had potential, but it lost me in it s forced cleverness For what it s worth, this is the first book I ve read since I joined Goodreads to which I ve given five stars So, at the risk of gushing, I m telling you to run, don t walk, to reserve this at your local library or buy it.The setting is the 1860s in Canada, where the small community of Caulfield and cabins strung along the Dove River sit at the edge of the great North Woods The book opens with the murder of French Canadian trapper, and that event unlocks several intertwined subplots among the For what it s worth, this is the first book I ve read since I joined Goodreads to which I ve given five stars So, at the risk of gushing, I m telling you to run, don t walk, to reserve this at your local library or buy it.The setting is the 1860s in Canada, where the small community of Caulfield and cabins strung along the Dove River sit at the edge of the great North Woods The book opens with the murder of French Canadian trapper, and that event unlocks several intertwined subplots among the people who live in this wintry landscape, dominated by the Hudson Bay Company.The sharp description of the landscape and lives of European settlers and Indians alike is all theremarkable because Stef Penney was agoraphobic when she wrote this and was unable to visit the scene of her novel, instead doing all of her research from the safe womb of the British Library.This is also muchthan a mystery, with finely drawn human portraits, stories of forbidden love and heartbreaking loss, all set in a time and place that is vividly evoked If it were possible, I d coin the term histery for this amalgam.When the trapper is found dead in his cabin, a young man, Francis Ross, also disappears and is the first suspect His father hunts for him briefly, but after he returns home empty handed, Francis mother is determined to search for him herself, and to her own surprise, she ends up going off secretly with a man named William Parker who is half Indian and who has just escaped from official custody as a suspect in the murder.The killing is the biggest sensation in the community since the disapperance several years earlier of two girls, who some feel died in the woods and were eaten by wolves, a story none of the experienced woodspeople believe, and a chapter of history that will make an eerie reappearance as the novel progresses.Penney is a screenwriter by trade, and part of the sheer enjoyment of this book is the movie like pacing, with short chapters weaving expertly back and forth between three and four subplots I d be surprised if this isn t made into a movie at some point Mixed into this cast of characters is a venal and paranoid Hudson Bay official, a utopian settlement of Norwegian Christians deep in the woods, a charismatic but troubled Hudson Bay officer who lives deep in the forest, a new Company employee who is trying to prove himself and trying to decide which woman he loves, and the mysterious man that young Francis Ross saw and followed after the murder.Penney s gift for language also elevates this above many a plot driven mystery At one point, she describes a narrow minded resident of the village this way She considers herself a well traveled woman, and from each place she has been to, she has brought away a prejudice as a souvenir Or this landscape description As suddenly as a smile, the sun causes beauty to break out on this sullen plain Beyond the pallisade lies a perfect landscape, like a sculpture carved in salt, crystalline and pure Meanwhile we trudge through roiled slush and dirt, trampled and stained with the effluent of dogs And near the end of the book, a description of the son s recuperation It has been weeks that he has lain up in the white room, his muscles softening and his skin growing pale like rhubarb under a pot A page turner with bonuses You can t ask for This book is directed at readers rather than thinkers I can understand why people like it because there are plenty of wonderfully crafted moments, but the novel lacks focus and depth I ve read a few reviews that ooh and aah over the fact that it s a murder mystery wrapped in a love story hog tied to a western deep fried in good ol fashioned wilderness tale, but I ve always felt that genre divisions are a crutch for people who need the books they read to conform to a series of prearranged attri This book is directed at readers rather than thinkers I can understand why people like it because there are plenty of wonderfully crafted moments, but the novel lacks focus and depth I ve read a few reviews that ooh and aah over the fact that it s a murder mystery wrapped in a love story hog tied to a western deep fried in good ol fashioned wilderness tale, but I ve always felt that genre divisions are a crutch for people who need the books they read to conform to a series of prearranged attributes However, what people take away from a novel or any work of art , as well as the baggage they bring, isn t something the author can be held accountable for Though Stef Penney was obviously writing for a target audience based on her experience as a screenwriter I don t like it when I can see the machinery turning , nearly every other review I ve read drags in aspects of her personal life, giving them a disproportionate weight that colors one s appreciation of the narrative The kind of gossip useless to any serious literary discussion.Aside from the pockets of wonderful writing scattered throughout, what I liked about this novel was the title Wolves generally rank above snakes but below mice on the Wheel of Tenderness, but I liked the attempt to turn our thinking around Those of you with access to the discovery channel know that wolves mate for life awww , but that their lives are determined mainly by a constant struggle for physical dominance within the pack Food is always scarce most packs can only support one litter of cubs and any youngsters that don t belong to the pair at the top are killed out of hand, and even for mature wolves their main predators remain other wolf packs If there is a tenderness of wolves it is characterized by a vicious, selective intensity focused ultimately on survival Draw whatever parallels you please between the previous statement and people you know and love, or substitute wilderness for wolves.Where the novel runs aground is the arbitrarily neat division into four sections Not only do they break the flow of the story, they feel forced, as if Penney was already thinking about where to insert the commercial breaks At the beginning of Fields of Heaven Penney introduces a number of minor characters that, while well drawn, don t add anything to the novel, or contribute to it s resolution Everyone in Himmelvanger is background noise except for Line, who didn t serve any real purpose aside from informing Angus at the end about his wife and son simultaneously robbing the reader of a scene where Angus comes across his wife with Parker At the same time, all of the conflict built up in the first section between Knox, McKinley, and Sturrock is set aside and ultimately left unexplored like so many other plot threads Sturrock and Marie in particular get robbed in this book after building them up in the beginning, they spend the rest of the novel literally sitting around.Overall this book confused me, and not in a tantalizing way I felt jerked around, as though Penney had started to say something, changed her mind, and then sprung mid sentence in a completely different direction 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 Whitbread Book of the YearThe year isWinter 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 Whew Is this book perfect It does have flaws but minor Yet it was hard to put down blew the others I was reading at the start out of the water And at points it reminded me of a John Wayne movie for the soap opera dilemma aspects of reoccurring crisis Especially the movie Stagecoach when John Wayne becomes encumbered by a happenstance rescue of ladies and other dumb innocents within and from an unforgiving environment So why the 5 stars The 5 stars are for complete and galloping entertai Whew Is this book perfect It does have flaws but minor Yet it was hard to put down blew the others I was reading at the start out of the water And at points it reminded me of a John Wayne movie for the soap opera dilemma aspects of reoccurring crisis Especially the movie Stagecoach when John Wayne becomes encumbered by a happenstance rescue of ladies and other dumb innocents within and from an unforgiving environment So why the 5 stars The 5 stars are for complete and galloping entertainment And this is her debut novel Can you tell she is a screen writer Superb mix of characters,than 20 of them Epic issues within distances of trapper Company Georgian Bay territory Canada It s early winter and it s just getting worse and worse Not only outside in the open either.I believe Stef Penney has covered nearly all the demographics for reader interest in this one And she did it without foul language or politico preach speak for the length on top of it It s long and there was a short bit about a third of the way through that dragged But if you keep your mittens on, do NOT lose your compass, and remember to cover your eyes against white out you will have a start with this one Also you need to fire up and melt your brain cells to placement and name memory Because there are many characters and for their number, they have depth Different languages they may speak and absolutely different cultures of thought and action More than three Not all the Native Americans consider themselves attune to similarity But the religions, the nationalities, the cultures, the crimes they all twine into the plot And the numerous sub plots.Does it knot too thoroughly What mish mass results How are the dogs and wolves involved Is it a love story between couples Are all the couples married How many fall into like Who knows how to trace patterns and track How many locations do we track them to and for what reasons Why, when the weather conditions and paths for these journeys are absolutely life threatening When is there a choice to stay instead Read this one and find out You might even discover what happened to those Seton sisters of 11 and 12 who went off to pick berries a decade ago and never came home Or who is not just a soft push over tenderfoot in the end But does sadly share a fate of the hopelessly naive.Many posters reject the mixed writing style of narrator change Mrs Ross those who count never know her first name is the primary narrator Other revolving chapters are third person narration And although 90% chronological you will still get that 10% flashback memory of something or some place that has gone on long before to clarify the picture or the emotion or the motive Readers have taken out 2 stars for some of that stylistic formation Not I It worked sublimely here in knowing the motives and context quite far, far beyond the actions of the plot progression.Lyrical and cutting of phrase Donald tries the poetic And the sentimental It s the wrong place for either, IMHO Unless it is an Indian saga upon a motherly wolf But it is the right place for this 3 or 4 month long tale Lake Edgar, Himmelvanger, Caulfield, Dove River and all the Company stations in late 1867 Canadian territory come howling and creaking and chapping They seem just as alive as the characters Or NOT.There were several delicious quotes in each section I can only pick a few Or one, just a longish one before Mrs Ross decides to track after her son, Francis Here s one for the Chick Lit readers So that s how it happens mutual need is what makes people cooperate nothing to do with trust or kindness or any such sentimental notion I don t really take in what he says about Knox and why he released him in this underhand way, but looking at his violated face I can believe that Mackinley has done it Parker wants a rifle and food and his dogs, and I want a guide to follow Francis, and maybe he thinks Francis will talkreadily if I am there Francis has something he wants too.And so while my husband sleeps upstairs we pack and I prepare to go into the wilderness with a suspected killer What s worse, a man I haven t been properly introduced to I am shocked to feel fear, too excited to care about the impropriety of it I suppose if you have already lost what matters most, then little things like reputation and honor lose their luster Besides, if the worse comes to the worst, I can remind myself of that, if I have to Don t think it s all in that vein There is something in this book for the Native American anthropology interest, for the adventurer par excellence, for the mixed race multitudes, for the big L users instead of the big H of heroin , for couples of the same sex, for the God doubters, for the rebellious and disloyal employee, for thieves, for murderers And especially for the daughter who does not answer to her original name or blood father It is somewhat adventure, somewhat thriller, somewhat suspense, somewhat a psychological study, somewhat murder mystery, somewhat what s it all about revelations but almost entirely page turning That s why I gave it a 5 Took me longer to read than two other books of the same length or nature You need to reread almost every first 4 paragraphs of each chapter Not to the whom, but to the what and where But somehow that feature never once pulled me out of the Mrs Ross motives connection to the whole It was massively entertaining to read this in 98 degree heat too It absolutely kept me cool Set in the small village of Caulfield in Ontario during the winter of 1867, The Tenderness of Wolves tells the story of a woman s journey into the Canadian wilderness to find her missing seventeen year old son Francis, who has disappeared after a man, who was a friend of her son s, was found brutally murdered First off, I don t know why the author gave the novel this title as wolves do not figure in the plot much at all They are mentioned once or twice but that s about it The plot was engagin Set in the small village of Caulfield in Ontario during the winter of 1867, The Tenderness of Wolves tells the story of a woman s journey into the Canadian wilderness to find her missing seventeen year old son Francis, who has disappeared after a man, who was a friend of her son s, was found brutally murdered First off, I don t know why the author gave the novel this title as wolves do not figure in the plot much at all They are mentioned once or twice but that s about it The plot was engaging and compelling at the beginning of the novel, but for about 100 pages or so in the middle it suddenly got very slow and boring, but it did pick up again in the last quarter of the novel I thought the location of the novel was interesting I loved the setting and the vivid descriptions of pioneer life in the Canadian wilderness in the mid nineteenth century At times, the novel got extremely confusing I loved most of Penney s characters but there was simply too many of them I found it hard to keep track of all of them I wished Penney had thinned these out as a lot of these extra characters weren t vital to the plot I don t know why she included so many of these characters She should have spenttime developing the characters that were central to the plot Stef Penney wrote all of her characters in the first person so sometimes it wasn t clear which character was doing the talking Because of this I had to go back and re read multiple chapters to figure out what was happening in the story Very annoying The ending of the novel was very abrupt There were TOO MANY loose ends I desperately wanted some romance in this novel to balance the story out view spoiler I wanted Mrs Ross and William Parker to add on the romantic feelings they were developing for each other I wanted Mrs Ross to confront her husband over his affair and his treatment of their son and leave him I wanted to knowabout how Mrs Ross s relationship with her husband had fallen apart I wanted to know Maria and Jacob s reactions to Moody s death I wanted Elizabeth Bird to meet her aunt and her cousins I wanted a final scene where Francis and his mother were reunited I wanted to know what happened to Amy Seton I was convinced she was one of the setters in the Norwegian village I wanted to know how Mrs Ross had managed to leave the asylum in Scotland Did they let her go Had she escaped hide spoiler This novel wasn t as good as all the hype made it out to be I think Ms Penney should fire her editor Jane Wood did definitely not do a good job editing this book Good editing would have fixed most of the problems with this novel But overall, I felt it was a good attempt at a first novel by the author It was an interesting and mostly enjoyable read but it s a shame the ending is very unsatisfying However, I would read another novel by this author I think she has potential Three stars PS If you want to know what Mrs Ross s first name is it is on page 170 of the paperback version It s in the paragraph where she describes Parker s dogs In a small Canadian town by the Georgian Bay, Mrs Ross finds the body of her murdered neighbor, trapper and fur trader Laurent Jammet Her adopted 17 year old son is also missing, and there are several sets of footprints heading north The Hudson Bay Company sends their men to investigate several suspects Mrs Ross sets off with a half Indian guide, William Parker, to find her son.The book is full of atmospheric details so the reader can feel for the 1867 immigrant and Indian characters as they In a small Canadian town by the Georgian Bay, Mrs Ross finds the body of her murdered neighbor, trapper and fur trader Laurent Jammet Her adopted 17 year old son is also missing, and there are several sets of footprints heading north The Hudson Bay Company sends their men to investigate several suspects Mrs Ross sets off with a half Indian guide, William Parker, to find her son.The book is full of atmospheric details so the reader can feel for the 1867 immigrant and Indian characters as they deal with the cold, the exhausting travel by foot, and the fear of the howling wolves in the wilderness There are several other murder suspects, including a man who wants an Indian archeological find owned by Jammet In addition to being a historical mystery, the book is also about love in its many forms and a riveting adventure tale Author Stef Penney, a screenwriter, won the Costa Book Award in 2006 And so while my husband sleeps upstairs we pack and I prepare to go into the wilderness with a suspected killer What s worse, a man I haven t been properly introduced to I am too shocked to feel fear, too excited to care about the impropriety of it I suppose if you have already lost what matters most, then little things like reputation and honour lose their lustre Besides, if the worst comes to the worst, I can remind myself that I have sold my honour farcheaply than this I can remiAnd so while my husband sleeps upstairs we pack and I prepare to go into the wilderness with a suspected killer What s worse, a man I haven t been properly introduced to I am too shocked to feel fear, too excited to care about the impropriety of it I suppose if you have already lost what matters most, then little things like reputation and honour lose their lustre Besides, if the worst comes to the worst, I can remind myself that I have sold my honour farcheaply than this I can remind myself of that, if I have toAs the nights are drawing in and the temperatures are dropping to the point that I needed to switch the heating on, this was the perfect book to get in the mood for the upcoming season There are a few things that I could criticize about this book like the holes in some of the sub plots, anachronisms, the use of 20th century expressions and attitudes that detract from the 1867 setting but all in all these are minor flaws I loved this book Not least for its writingSometimes, you find yourself looking at the forest in a different way Sometimes it s nothan the trees that provide houses and warmth, and hide the earth s nakedness, and you re glad of it And then sometimes, like tonight, it is a vast dark presence that you can never see the end of it might, for all you know, have not just length and breadth to lose yourself in, but also an immeasurable depth, or something else altogether And sometimes, you find yourself looking at your husband and wondering is he the straightforward man you think you know provider, friend, teller of poor jokes that nonetheless make you smile or does he too have depths that you have never seen What might he not be capable ofSo what that the language doesn t fit into 1867 The same concept worked for Marty McFly Anyway, just to clarify, this book is not about time travel The Tenderness of Wolves is a mystery set in the wintry northeast of Canada between communities of immigrants and natives, where the murder of a local trapper and the disappearance of a local youth set in motion an unlikely turn of events.But it is not just a murder mystery What I loved about the book is what some other reviewers found distracting that it a number of subplots.There are stories of people looking for something they have lost, of people looking for their own way in life, of people trying to remember who they are, of people trying to make new starts Some fail, some succeed The subplots add a great deal of depth to the characters and bring to life how in a largely isolated small community nearly everything is connected Ironically, for a story set in the freezing north, there is a lot of warmth and for a story largely set in the wilderness, there is a lot of humanity, even though the stoicism portrayed by characters and the brutality of some of the events ensure that this is by no means a cozy read This review was first posted on BookLikes The hero of this novel is only ever referred to by two names Mrs Ross, and Mama In their brief moments together at the beginning of the novel, Angus Ross never speaks to his wife, and she does not have a single good friend who knows her well enough to address her by her first name She is reserved, polite and, as a married woman in these stifled Scottish, Presbyterian, conclaves in 19th Century Canada, almost invisible when a self important local figure demands, Is you husband in , she note The hero of this novel is only ever referred to by two names Mrs Ross, and Mama In their brief moments together at the beginning of the novel, Angus Ross never speaks to his wife, and she does not have a single good friend who knows her well enough to address her by her first name She is reserved, polite and, as a married woman in these stifled Scottish, Presbyterian, conclaves in 19th Century Canada, almost invisible when a self important local figure demands, Is you husband in , she notes that As a woman I m obviously not supposed to know anything She appears to have little self esteem, admitting that in fact long ago gave up the notion that I have any remarkable qualities When her teenage son disappears in the aftermath of the murder of a local fur trader, Laurent Jammet, she is for a while paralysed by indecision.Yet, from this unpromising start, she demonstrates that she is in fact quite remarkable she shows enormous physical strength to drag herself through the barren Canadian landscape, not once but three times greater mental strength to embark on the subsequent quests and to stand up to those trying to advise her against this And towards the end, as the Cat Mouse game to find Jammet s murderer reaches its conclusion, she puts her life at risk But most revealing of all, it turns out she is not shy, just quiet She does not lack self esteem, she is in fact very funny and self deprecating She may still appear to be almost invisible but she misses nothing, particularly in the hubris of the numerous self important men that she meets She is deeply passionate, stifled through her current circumstances Had she not been denied educational opportunity because she was subjected to a 19th Century version of sectioning , she would have certainly achievedin life and yet she does not dwell on this or feel any self pity Perhaps this is for the best beyond the end of the book, we know that she must go back to her husband, who will remain unaware that he is married to such a wonderful woman