Fourteen-year-old Madeline lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Madeline is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Madeline as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Madeline finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging she is also drawn into secrets she doesnt understand. Over the course of a few days, Madeline makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Madeline confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people doand fail to dofor the people they love...
|Title||:||History of Wolves|
|Number of Pages||:||288 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » History » History of Wolves|
History of Wolves Reviews
A book of interesting ideas and a dark little heart, yet also one that’s problematic in its execution. It either needs to be a shorter story just based around our odd (which I liked) narrator and a small boy she befriends and his parents. Or about our odd narrator and her small obsession with another student and their teacher. Together with odd snippets of her life post school (of which many didn’t make sense) this didn’t quite work. But it’s not awful.
The initial tension level of this story was maintained at a consistently high level with writing that hints and pulls back, shifts gears between the narrator, Linda/Madeleine, her parents and their history, her school and town, and the new neighbors. There are feelings of menace, in thoughts, in nature, in people, but what is really going on? Our narrator, Linda/Madeleine gives us clues but no answers until late.
I really liked the first two-thirds of the book, where the tension is maintained eve ...more
4★ - overall
5★ for the writing and the main story.
(Read and reviewed February 12, 2017)
An intense debut from a talented writer. Madeline, who prefers ‘Linda’, is telling her story as an adult, with episodes from her childhood, her school years, her early adulthood and now. But it’s what happened to her at 15 that changes her life which is the excellent heart of the book. Her later years – with a boyfriend or tracking a classmate and former teacher – didn’t interest me. The teen Linda did.
This book still haunts me. From the very beginning, you know that something bad is going to happen. The horrible event itself isn’t as shocking as what caused it. Or rather, the people who caused it. Linda, the novel’s teenage narrator, is trapped by circumstances beyond her control. When a family moves in across the lake, she finds an escape from her own miserable family life. Throughout the novel is a sense that something is not right, but you’re not sure what that is. There are no blameless c ...more
The moment I finished this book, I rushed back to the library to return it so that another of my fellow Denizens of the Eternal Waitlist could have a chance to read it ASAP. Northern Virginia Readers: You’re Welcome.
As many others have described, this is not a perfect book; it ambitiously tackles a number of weighty themes and integrates various plotlines and time jumps within a relatively modest page count. So, I cannot protest too much other readers’ objections that the book occasionally meand ...more
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“Winter collapsed on us that year. It knelt down, exhausted, and stayed. In the middle of December so much snow fell that the gym roof buckled, and school was cancelled for a week.”
Emily Fridlund’s debut novel is a moving story of a young girl who lives on the land of a former commune-type community. Her parents are relics from years gone by, late to the hippie party. Living off the land, they live in a shack, really. She’s young, a teenager, her given name is Madeline, but s ...more
WTF did I just read? Madeline/Linda made 2-3 sets of tracks in the snow and none of them ended up at the same destination. What did the Mr. Grierson/Lilly story have to do with the Patra/Leo/Paul story? The writing here was very good, but I think the point of this story ended up abandoned on a canoe in the middle of the lake. Who knows, maybe that was the point? Grrrr... The setting and characterization of Madeline/Linda meshed very well and conveyed a deep sense of loneliness. I'm sure there's ...more
The second hyped book of January of the new year, The History of Wolves touches on many random topics including family, pedophilia, loyalty, love and faith and yet none of these hard hitting themes fully resonated with me.
The narrator is 37 year old Madeline who remembers a pivotal moment in her life when she was 14. Her memories meander and continually bounce from topic to topic, from time period to time period.
She recalls a teacher being arrested on child pornography charges; the time she sp ...more