A complete shift of gears from last week’s review. This one’s about The Work of Wolves by author Kent Meyers.
I stumbled on this book while looking for other nature novels I could list as comps for my own. In the two weeks since I finished it, I have recommended it to every reader I know.
The cover blurber compared it to Lonesome Dove and Plainsong, two books I loved. While not the bronc ride of the epic Pulitzer winner Lonesome Dove, it’s absolutely on a par—maybe better. Compared to Plainsong? I’d choose this one first, hands down.
If editing and publicity are any indicators, I wonder if publisher Harcourt took the book seriously. It has too many typos, and couldn’t have been front and center in their marketing (though it should have been). Published in 2004, I’d expect a novel of this caliber to have 54,000 reviews, not 154 (though to be fair, internet reviews weren’t then what they are now).
Still, even WITH the typos, I’d give it 7 stars out of 5.
The language is lyrical, beautiful, spare. The characterization, brilliant. The story? Well, you won’t want to put it down, and you’ll be tense sometimes—but you’re safe in this writer’s skillful hands. He carries you through.
I plan to read every book this author has written.
If you’d like to win a copy, you’ll need to subscribe to my Saturday Letters to enter the drawing. Subscribers are automatically entered in this and my future giveaways, but if you drop me a note HERE with The Work of Wolves in it somewhere, I’ll sign you up and enter you three times. This book deserves to be appreciated.
If you read the book, will you write and let me know what you think? Feel free to disagree, but let’s talk about it.
***There’s some cowboy language in the story with our Lord’s name used to no good purpose. Painful, but not gratuitous.
Here’s the gist:
When fourteen-year-old Carson Fielding bought his first horse from Magnus Yarborough, it became clear that the teenager was a better judge of horses than the rich landowner was of humans. Years later, Carson, now a skilled and respected horse trainer, grudgingly agrees to train Magnus’s horses and teach his wife to ride. But as Carson becomes disaffected with the power-hungry Magnus, he also grows more and more attracted to the rancher’s wife, and their relationship sets off a violent chain of events that unsettles their quiet reservation border town in South Dakota. Thrown into the drama are Earl Walks Alone, an Indian trying to study his way out of the reservation and into college, and Willi, a German exchange student confronting his family’s troubled history.
In this unforgettable story of horses, love, and life, Carson and the entire ensemble of characters learn, in very different ways, about the strong bonds that connect people to each other and to the land on which they live.
And in a connected vein . . . sorta . . . these, from my archives:
Not wolves, exactly, but they can pretend.
Snow garden joy.
Bet Adam felt like this when his Friend showed up in the cool of the day.
And more . . .
“…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”
Hopeful friends, two days closer to spring. Sap is rising, even when all the world sees snow.
Remembering the gift of this day. The miracle of it.
We will use these stones to build a memorial. In the future your children will ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’”
A changed mind.
“Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory . . .”
In the teeth of the storm, out walking between forest and pond, I thought of Frost’s poem (below) immediately.
Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening
BY ROBERT FROST
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
—Robert Frost, 1923
Puffed to maximum loft.
Welcome home, travelers.
Thanks for stopping by, friends. So glad you’re here.
Watching Nature, Seeing Life: Through His Creation, God Speaks.
P.S. The WINNER of last week’s giveaway of Lysa TerKeurst’s book Forgiving What You Can’t Forget is in this week’s Saturday Letter, too. Subscribe HERE to get my weekly letter and to be included in future giveaways.
5 thoughts on “The Work of Wolves, Reviewed (& a NEW Giveaway)”
The Work of Wolves sounds like such a great book would love to read this!
Can’t wait to read The work of wolves.
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You’re in —3 times, Bevvie! 🧡
Such a beautiful pictures!!!
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So glad they resonate, Natalya. Thanks:)!