The Wolf Border

Harper. Jun. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062208477. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062208491. F
OrangeReviewStarWolves are social animals, living in packs with a strict social structure. Human families are much more complicated, as Rachel Caine knows firsthand. Not exactly "raised by wolves" but rather more interested in drinking and men than in her two children, Rachel stayed at home (and in conflict) with her own mother until age 18, though half-brother Lawrence left home at 14. Inspired by a childhood encounter with wolves confined at a suburban English park, Rachel goes on to become a world-renowned expert in the species. She is working as a project leader for a group of reintroduced wolves in the northwestern United States and hasn't returned to England, even to see her dying mother, in years when suddenly she gets a call from an extremely wealthy Englishman with a plan to reintroduce wolves to the English countryside. Rachel commits to a visit, nothing more, but the idea of bringing wolves back to her home country is compelling. When she faces a major life change, the idea of reuniting with family suddenly isn't so unthinkable.
VERDICT One of Granta's Best Young British Novelists, Hall (How To Paint a Dead Man) offers an earthy novel, successfully exploring ideas of family, maternity, personal demons, social class, and wilderness vs. urban development. Interesting and original, it should have wide appeal. [See Prepub Alert, 12/15/14.]
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