Sarah Hall: The Wolf Border

The latest addition to my website is Sarah Hall‘s The Wolf Border. This is another superb novel from Sarah Hall and it is, of course, about wolves. Rachel Caine works with wolves on the Nez Perce reservation. She is around forty and single, though she has had many a casual affairs, just as her mother did before her. She is offered the job of managing a project in Cumbria, in the very North of England, where the the owner of the largest private estate in Britain, the Earl of Annerdale, wants to reintroduce wolves into Britain. The estate is near her mother’s care home but she is not tempted and declines. However when she has a quick fling with one of her US colleagues and finds that she is pregnant, she realises that her US heath care will not cover either an abortion or childbirth, so she reluctantly takes the job in Cumbria. The rest of the book covers the wolf project but also her not always straightforward private life and her relationship with her half-brother, with a bit of Scottish independence thrown in. What makes the book particularly interesting is that Hall is continually, though subtly making the comparison between how wolves do things and how humans do things and the wolves seem to come out way ahead. It is, to a great degree, about wolves, though not in a Disneyesque way, but Hall also tells a good story about Rachel’s complicated life and a few other sub-plots but it is the wolves that you will remember.

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