‘The Tenderness of Wolves’ was Stef Penney’s debut novel and like her other novels is beautifully and warmly written.
The story is set in 1867 in the sparsely populated and cold areas of Northern Canada. At the time, the Hudson Bay Company was the main driver of the fur trade in the area.
In the small town of Caulfield, a trapper and ex company man Laurent Jannett is brutally murdered. The body is discovered by a neighbour – Mrs Ross. She is particularly worried that her 17 Year old son Francis has been missing since around the time of the murder.
Company men are called in to investigate and others with links to Jannett also start to arrive in town.
With her growing concerns about her son, Mrs Ross along with a half Native American tracker William Parker set out to search for him. They are closely followed by young company man Donald Moody who suspects either Francis or Parker as the murderer.
The town is in uproar as the magistrate Andrew Knox finds himself in trouble and his daughters pine after Moody. Thomas Sturock, who failed to find Knox’s missing nieces many years ago has arrived in town and inserted himself in the hunt.
Meanwhile, the trek through the wilderness has turned into a voyage of discovery for different reasons for Francis, Mrs Ross, Parker and Moody.
This was an amazing novel to lose yourself in while discovering the incredible beauty of the harsh north of Canada.
Stef Penney’s writing is beautiful to read and I’m looking forward to her next novel.
Book Published 2006