The Wolf Border

Rachel Caine is a zoologist who has spent the past 10 years studying wolves on the Nez Perce Reservation in Idaho. Although born and raised in England, she considers the United States her home, but when the Earl of Annerdale offers her a job coordinating the reintroduction of wild wolves into the Lake District, near her childhood home, she moves back to England to tackle this new and exciting project.

What unfolds in Sarah Hall's descriptive prose is a wonderful tale of humans interacting with wild animals, humans engaging with other humans, and the emotional ups and downs that can ensue when various combinations of animals and humans clash. Rachel must deal with the extremely wealthy gentry and their assorted staff, those who oppose the idea of bringing predators back into the region and her own interactions with her long-estranged brother and mother as she readjusts to English ways of life and its weather. Hall's extensive research into wolf behavior is evident throughout as she writes lovely short passages such as, "They cover the open moor in less than a minute. One dark, one light, stellar and obverse, their hind muscles working sumptuously under their coats."

Hall (The Electric Michelangelo) has also built in a subplot based on contemporary events in Scotland and the country's desire for independence, which adds to the story. Hall has written a novel that is lyrical, earthy and emotionally moving. --Lee E. Cart, freelance writer and book reviewer

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