Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis

The Wolf Road is the debut novel by author Beth Lewis and is a haunting tale about one young girl’s journey. We will let Kerry Hammond tell you more.

The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis was published in the United States in hardcover on July 5, by Crown Publishers. I was drawn to the book because of the unique and strong female character described on the book jacket—I wanted to hear Elka’s story.

Seven-year-old Elka was found in the forest and taken in by a man she called Trapper. He taught her to hunt and build fires; all of the skills of survival. She thought of him as her Daddy and she lived off the land with him in the woods for the next ten years of her life. One day, in those woods, Elka’s life came crashing down around her. She learned things about Trapper that made her doubt her judgment and the man she thought she loved. She fled the only home she’d ever really known and set out on her own, but she soon realized that she wasn’t on her own. She was a hunter, yet she was also being hunted.

I was easily hooked by Elka’s story and I found it both horrifying and touching. For such a young girl, she had seen things she should never have seen, and experienced things that made her doubt the existence of her own redemption. 

This book was different from anything I’ve read before. It is set in a time period following a nuclear event, but things are not what you might expect. Civilization appears to have gone back in time rather than forward, and it’s not the barren landscape from a science fiction novel. In this world, there is a new gold rush and people are living off what is left of the land. Were it not for references to the fact that a war had devastated their lives, the reader might think it was simply set the late 1800s. But the references are there, and they explain an altered way of life that is all the more mysterious and interesting for it.

Lewis is a skilled storyteller and I found myself wondering if it was hard for her to break from her writing and re-enter her own life each day. To switch off Elka’s story as she heard it in her mind, spoken in her character’s vernacular. I really enjoyed this book, right through to the very last sentence—and this last sentence was such a wonderful end to the story that I teared up when I put it down. You’ll have to read it to understand what I mean.

This book was sent to Mystery Playground by Blogging for Books. The review is fair and independent. 

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