Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Book reviews, Pullitzer, Booker, Costa and Children's Book reviews
Prize Winning Fiction
Prize Winning Fiction

Costa Winner 2006

The Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penney


Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Length: 384 pages

About: Canadian wilderness murder and kidnapping

Style: 1st person

Where: Canada

When: 1867



Publisher’s synopsis:

1867, Canada: as winter tightens its grip on the isolated settlement of Dove River, a man is brutally murdered and a 17-year old boy disappears. Tracks leaving the dead man’s cabin head north towards the forest and the tundra beyond. In the wake of such violence, people are drawn to the township – but do they want to solve the crime or exploit it?
One-by-one the assembled searchers set out from Dove River, pursuing the tracks across a desolate landscape home only to wild animals, madmen and fugitives, variously seeking a murderer, a son, two sisters missing for 17 years, a Native American culture, and a fortune in stolen furs before the snows settle and cover the tracks of the past for good.
Siobhan Redmond captivates in this gripping rendering of Stef Penney’s award-winning debut. She reads with warmth, wit and understanding, deftly characterising the small Canadian township and its inhabitants. Redmond’s keen sense of suspense complements Penney’s superb story-telling ability, bringing this panoramic, romantic and exhilarating thriller to life.






I don’t pretend to be particularly brave, and in fact long ago gave up the notion that I have any remarkable qualities, but I am surprised at the calmness with which I look around the cabin. My first thought is that Jammet has destroyed himself,

but Jammet’s hands are empty, and there is no sign of a weapon near him. One hand dangles off the side of the bed. It does not occur to me to be afraid. I know with absolute certainty that whoever did this is nowhere near – the cabin proclaims

its emptiness. Even the body on the bed is empty. There are no attributes to it now – the cheerfulness and slovenliness and skill at shooting, the generosity and callousness – they have all gone.







This is a literary book that it's very easy to be gratefully sucked into.

For full review click here

The Guardian, N, 3rd March 2007


Not so good

No prize on Earth can erase the embarrassment of the ending of this otherwise quite fine book. Her editor should have gotten her out of that cliche-ridden, logistical mess.

The Wasington Post, Carolyn See, July 20th 2007




About the author

Born in 1969 in Edinburgh  She turned to film-making after a degree in Philosophy and Theology from Bristol University. She made three short films before studying Film and TV at Bournemouth College of Art, and on graduation was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme. She has also written and directed two short films; a BBC 10 x 10 starring Anna Friel and a Film Council Digital Short in 2002 starring Lucy Russell.



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Age guide: 12






Books by same author:

The Invisible Ones 2012












Serialised on BBC Radio 4 2007






























2016 Pulitzer Prize Winner

It's a massive day in arts and journalism because the 100th annual Pulitzer Prize winners were just announced, and there's a big surprise. 2015's best artistic and nonfiction writing across 21 categories were recognized during a ceremony Monday afternoon at Columbia University in New York City. The first Pulitzer Prize was awarded to Hebert Bayward Swope, a reporter for The New York World, in 1916. (And if you're as big a fan of Newsies as I am, that paper should ring a bell, but try to think of it more positively.)

The major prize for book nerds, the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction went to The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Press), a legitimate surprise, if you've been paying attention to the book nerd and industry buzz. The feeling around the prize in the last few months would have you putting all your hard-earned cash down on A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara to take home the award, but that's why you should never gamble. Viet Thanh Nguyen is no less deserving, and moreover, it's his debut novel, which makes it such a wonderful win.

Extract from New York Times to view full article...

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