Wolves stir a strong response in us, and this account of the reintroduction of wolves into a British estate is fascinating on may levels. 

wolf_border_3255925fRachel Caine understands wolves. They certainly make more sense to her than families do.

Her work keeping tabs on a pack of the predators on a reservation in the US allows her exactly the kind of freedom she enjoys.

But a series of upheavals in her life changes her situation, and she accepts a job back on her home territory in England’s Lakes District.

Her boss is the eccentric and well-connected Earth of Annerdale who wants to reintroduce grey wolves to his massive private estate near the Scottish border, their first appearance on British soil since they were wiped out centuries ago.

It is a delicate, controversial task, and one that is not popular with all the locals. Equally difficult is re-establishing some contact with the remnants of her family while preparing for the approaching birth of her own child.

The local and personal turmoil sits against broader background of upheaval, as the nation contemplates Scottish independence.

Hall, a young British writer who has already won a multitude of awards including the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, writes evocatively about nature, freedom, independence and motherhood. It is the first of hers I have read, but the rest immediately went on my reading list.

This review was first published in the Herald Sun Weekend magazine. The book was published in April 2015.