When it comes to choosing books, I always have a difficult time. I do my best not to judge it by its cover or the title… but, come on, who doesn’t. In all honesty, I chose this book first because of the title… I love wolves and thinking that I’ll learn a lot more about them if I read this book helped me make my decision. Then I looked at the cover, such a beautiful one with the solitary boat moving across the water. I loved it… so when I looked at the blurb on the back I knew I had to read it one way or the other.
From the first few chapters of History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund, I thought this would be a completely different story altogether.
Set around the life of Linda, the book primarily focuses on her life at the age of 13-14, when she finds that she has an attraction to her teacher Mr Grierson, after he picks her to present at a competition with the subject of History. She chose to do, the History of Wolves, which he thought was different and innovative, something that he liked about her.
A year later, there are new people moving in across the lake from Linda’s family cabin. After a few weeks she notices the father has disappeared, that it is just the mother and a son left. After a few weeks Linda befriends them and becomes Paul’s (the little boy) “governess” as his mother Patra (short for Cleopatra) called her.
Throughout the book we see her as the narrator, flashback through her life in three points. The ones that almost make a difference in her life. And all through this we see her think bout the teacher that got away. At first I thought it was her way of clinging to someone other than her family, of wanting to be loved like a normal person, instead of the unusual ways that her parents had defined her life with.
I won’t lie and say that I wasn’t confused by the story lines as there seemed to be two main ones, however they were both intricately woven, and covered many points that today’s society still try to avoid.
I couldn’t put it down, it kept my attention because I did not know which direction it would take next, it surprised me every time.
Fridlund has given the characters their own lives, to a point where we as the reader feel like we are intruding on their lives. The intimate secrets of Linda’s teacher, the shunned family that she came from and the family she thought she wanted to be a part of.
I really liked this book, but it was difficult to know what the writer wanted you to take from the story, but I guess I like that, almost as if she is letting the reader decide for themselves what the story should mean to them. And in some way I was rooting for Linda to have a happy ending, I was waiting for Mr Grierson to come back and remember her when she is older, like the way she remembered him.
All in all, I really liked History of Wolves. It is not like most of the books I have read and it was a refreshing change. I have even noticed developments in my personal writing because of this, I guess it’s true that readers make better writers.
If you haven’t managed to read this book yet, I really think you should. It’s not very often that you read something that is so different from other stories, yet, the issues raised are all very real issues that we seem to forget are happening everyday.
So, that is it. The first book of the Twenty Something Minds Book Club!
Hope you enjoy the next book 😀