ReadHead edited the characters of The Tenderness of Wolves Thursday, November 1, 2012.
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- Edited the description of John Scott:
I have been meaning to read this book for a while, as is the case with so many novels on my shelves... Since I visited Canada myself, both Alberta and Ontario, I have always thought I should read a Canadian novel outside those of the legend that is Margaret Atwood. This book couldn't depict a more raw Canada. Set in 1860s Ontario, Stef Penney describes the impenetrable land, the mysterious indigenous communities, dangerous animals and a brutal murder.The snow certainly doesn't do anything for shaking Canada's stereotype as a habitable Arctic, but the landscape is really beautifully written, offering some stunning descriptions but without lots of dense paragraphs of description. Penney also creates a really believable rural community with characters you instantly care for. And there are plenty of characters at that... farmer's wives, criminals, magistrates, trackers, foreign tradesmen... Admittedly I got a bit confused at times but, saying that, I liked the community feel to this novel.It does involve a murder but, for anyone who doesn't like crime books, this is not a crime novel. Although it isn't fantastical in any way, or even really that scary, this novel has a real haunting atmosphere to it. The winter weather and the wolves on the prowl probably helps but it is also just in its general tone. It has a Brokeback Mountain quietness to it but that's not to say there aren't plenty of twists and turns and satisfying link-ups.I really liked this novel and found it, overall, very calming: 8/10