Friday, December 30, 2016

Review: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Blurb from Goodreads:
Linda has an idiosyncratic home life: her parents live in abandoned commune cabins in northern Minnesota and are hanging on to the last vestiges of a faded counter-culture world. The kids at school call her 'Freak', or 'Commie'. She is an outsider in all things. Her understanding of the world comes from her observations at school, where her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography, and from watching the seemingly ordinary life of a family she babysits for. Yet while the accusation against the teacher is perhaps more innocent than it seemed at first, the ordinary family turns out to be more complicated. As Linda insinuates her way into the family's orbit, she realises they are hiding something. If she tells the truth, she will lose the normal family life she is beginning to enjoy with them; but if she doesn't, their son may die. 
Superbly-paced and beautifully written, HISTORY OF WOLVES is an extraordinary debut novel about guilt, innocence, negligence, well-meaning belief and the death of a child. 
My Review:
This book is as much about a place as anything, far northern Minnesota, and growing up on an isolated and frozen lake in the winter only to have it bombarded by fishermen and campers in the summer.  This is all told from Linda's point of view, as a thirteen and fourteen year old describing her childhood growing up in such a place but also providing commentary and a straight shot into her experience when a family of Christian Scientists move into a nearby cabin and tragedy strikes.  The tragedy is danced around a bit for most of the book - we get glimpses into Linda's past and current life (as an adult) but we don't really know what happens until close to the end of the book.  This built up the suspense and whoa, I did not see it coming, really.  This book was written so beautifully and felt so haunting while I was reading it.  Definitely a good winter read although we get to experience all the seasons of northern Minnesota.  My first amazing debut for 2017! 

History of Wolves comes out next week on January 3, 2017 and you can purchase HERE. I definitely recommend this one if you like atmospheric literary fiction that feels a bit like a mystery.
You know how summer goes. You yearn for it and yearn for it, but there's always something wrong. Everywhere you look, there are insects thickening the air, and birds rifling trees, and enormous, heavy leaves dragging down branches. You want to trammel it, wreck it, smash things down. The afternoons are so fat and long. You want to see if anything you do matters. 


  1. I hadn't heard of this one yet but love something that is actually suspenseful. Great review!

  2. This sounds really interesting, great review for it! I hope you have a wonderful New Year!!

  3. I haven't heard of this on yet, but it sounds amazing! Excellent review. 😀

  4. This is the first time I'm coming across this, but it sounds amazing! the writing sounds like it's right up my alley. I'll definitely keep an eye out for this one! Thanks for bringing it on my spotlight, Eva! Great review <3

    Ruzaika @ The Regal Critiques

  5. I hadn't heard of this one before but it sounds intriguing. Great review!

  6. History of wolves is on my reading list for 2017! Thank you for your review.

  7. I just bought this one...can't wait to read it!


Imagination Designs