The Wolf Border
An incredible novel from Sarah Hall, one of the most garlanded writers of her generation
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For almost a decade Rachel Caine has turned her back on home, kept distant by family disputes and her work monitoring wolves on an Idaho reservation. But now, summoned by the eccentric Earl of Annerdale and his controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside, she is back in the peat and wet light of the Lake District.
The earl’s project harks back to an ancient idyll of untamed British wilderness – though Rachel must contend with modern-day concessions to health and safety, public outrage and political gain – and the return of the Grey after hundreds of years coincides with her own regeneration: impending motherhood, and reconciliation with her estranged family.
The Wolf Border investigates the fundamental nature of wilderness and wildness, both animal and human. It seeks to understand the most obsessive aspects of humanity: sex, love, and conflict; the desire to find answers to the question of our existence; those complex systems that govern the most superior creature on earth.
[T]he odd sense lingers of Hall as a well-kept secret. If you're currently revelling in your membership of the initiate, however, be warned: her new novel looks set to blow the lid off.
[A] thoughtful, gripping and utterly humane exploration of generation, parenthood, and the responsibility that connects individuals, both human and animal, to one another ... For sheer good writing and intelligence of execution, you may not read a better book this year.
It is a compelling, psychological drama ... [Hall] has a golden touch, texturing her pages with rich metaphor and lyrical prose.
[A] stylish, intelligent and a cracking read ... Hall is at her best when she deals with her outlandish scenario in a calm and unsensational manner. She writes with luminous precision about pregnancy and motherhood ... Her close observations of wolf behaviour and of Cumbrian weather are wonderful.
This is a book overflowing with life and history, propelled by a writer who engages all the reader's senses.
[J]oyous fragility characterises The Wolf Border ... which weighs sense and sensuality, order and chaos, with sumptuous grace. Hall writes gorgeously about small moments ... But her plot too is gripping, propelled by some intriguing mysteries, a couple of conspiracies and a pulse-racing set-piece in which Rachel juggles baby, wolves, brother and vocation.
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