The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall - review by Madeleine Minson

Madeleine Minson

Wild Things

The Wolf Border

By

Faber & Faber 435pp £17.99 order from our bookshop
 

In a grand folly of a scheme, the Earl of Annerdale, a fabulously wealthy landowner who is part of ‘the ebullient, boyish elite, which is anything but harmless’, has decided to introduce grey wolves into the Lake District. He manages to tempt wolf expert Rachel Caine from her work on a reservation in Idaho to lead the project, and two wolves are brought in from Romania – to hunt free, within a huge, foolproof enclosure constructed for them. Back in her native Cumbria, Rachel’s got more than earls and wolves to contend with. There is also a dying mother, a falling-out with her brother and, soon enough, an unexpected pregnancy – something of a shock for someone who doesn’t ‘have relationships. Just sex.’ 

Sarah Hall’s fifth novel is a wonderfully assured page-turner, as much for its language as for the story. As in her previous novels, the north of England plays a prominent part; its landscapes are conjured up in vivid detail, as passionately described as the inner dramas they frame. Hall’s characters

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