Mumsnet Book Club review – The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

I have received another book from the Mumsnet Book Club free to review. It is The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall.

The Wolf Border

This is what it says on the back cover.

For almost a decade Rachel Caine has turned her back on home and worked in Idaho at a reservation for wolves. As one of the few experts in her field she is summoned back to England by the eccentric Earl of Annerdale to help with his plan for re-wilding wolves on his estate in the Lake District. As Rachel attempts a gradual reconciliation with her estranged family, her work with the Earl begins to generate public outrage and the threat of sabotage. Set against a backdrop of Scottish independence and tumultous power struggles, both locally and nationally, The Wolf Border is a novel steeped in wilderness and wildness, both animal and human.

I struggled to get into this book but I persevered and was glad I did. I enjoyed the book much better from around page 100 onwards although there were still short sections that weren’t to my taste. The re-wilding of wolves is an unusual topic so I tended to feel out of my reading comfort zone for parts of the book. And could I truly believe that Rachel, the main character was able to juggle new motherhood and working with wolves.

I liked most of the main characters and felt that the author had brought them to life well, so I enjoyed following the sub-plots. There was an interesting twist for the latter section of the book which I wasn’t expecting. However the actual ending seemed rather abrupt.

And politics is something that I always find a turn-off, so I didn’t particularly take to it including the Scottish Referendum, although in the novel, the Scots opt for Independence, which gave it a different dimension.

Also one little thing that really made it harder to read was the lack of differentiation between characters speaking and the narration of the story. There was no use of speech marks throughout. I don’t think I’ve come across a book doing that before and I found it very off-putting. I had to re-read many sentences, in order to make sense of them.

The Wolf Border” is by Sarah Hall and is published by Faber & Faber. The paperback edition is currently on sale on Amazon for £6.29 compared to an RRP of £8.99. It is also available in hardback, kindle format and audio cd.

It wasn’t for me, but don’t let that put you off as the author Sarah Hall has won several awards and this is her fifth novel. I plan to join Sarah for a webchat on 23rd March between 9 – 10pm. Do come along if you’re interested in the book.

Sarah Hall has her own website here, where you can find out about her other novels.

I have previously read the following books from the Mumsnet Book Club.
The Forgotten Summer by Carol Drinkwater
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria
Fallout by Sadie Jones
Falling by Emma Kavanagh
The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey

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Disclosure.  This post is a review of a book I was sent for free.  All opinions are my own.

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11 thoughts on “Mumsnet Book Club review – The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

  1. A S,Edinburgh

    I love the sound of the subjects, probably just because they’re very relevant to where I live! I have to say though that I think I’d really struggle with that dialogue formatting quirk. Thanks for reviewing it, that’s really helpful.

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  2. Sarah W (@sarahMo3W)

    I’ve got lots of books stacked up to read, so I don’t think I’ll be making room for this one on my list! I don’t mind speech without speech marks, but the subject matter sounds a bit off-putting. Have you read Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult? Far too much about wolves in that one too and definitely my least favourite of her books!

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  3. chocolatepages

    This is a good review, I like how you’ve mentioned the parts you like and don’t like. I don’t like reading about politics either, but as you said the Scots chose independence, I think that would make interesting reading.
    Amanda. #weekendbookclub

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