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Jill
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The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney

The Tenderness of Wolves
By Stef Penney
Completed May 3, 2009


The Tenderness of Wolves, the Costa Winner by Stef Penney, was the story of murder and intrigue set against the beautiful but harsh Canadian landscape. Penney utilized the multi-narrator technique for her story, and her talent as a screenwriter showed through as she described every detail in the story.

In summary, The Tenderness of Wolves centered on the murder of Frenchmen, Laurence Jammet, whose body was found by Mrs. Ross, a Scottish wife and mother. As the murder was investigated, Mrs. Ross’s son, Francis, went missing suspiciously. Throw in some private investigators and treasure hunters, and you have a wild tale in the Canadian forest.

Overall, the characters were complex yet compelling. Because of the hopscotch narrative method, it was hard for me, though, to fully enjoy each character. I felt like I was introduced to two-thirds of each character – and never learned about the remaining third. This was especially true for Mrs. Ross, who had a difficult and interesting past. Through my reading, I wished Penney made Mrs. Ross the only narrator. In my opinion, it would have moved the story at a better pace.

While I was impressed with Penney’s sense of place and detail, I was underwhelmed by The Tenderness of Wolves. It had great potential, but the lack of character development and slow-moving plot burdened the story for me. ( )
 

Tags: 2009 books i've read, book awards ii reading challenge, what an animal reading challenge
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