This year I’m participating in the event “Book Trail Advent“, in which book bloggers and authors recommend books set in Christmas or in a cold, snowy place; perfect reads for the days ahead!

Go and take a look at our map and the wonderful recommendations we are getting:

Book Trail Advent 2015

(I would need a couple of Christmas holidays, one after the other, to read every book I have put my eyes on!).

Here we go!

The tenderness of wolves, by Stef Penney

The tenderness of the wolves Stef PenneyTo be honest, I read The tenderness of wolves some years ago, but it has remained in my mind as a really good book inexplicably unknown by many readers, so I set a goal to myself: to put this book on your list.

We’ll travel back to a Canadian winter in the 1860s to know Mrs. Ross, a woman whose son has run away, as many times before, after the umpteenth argument with his father. Looking for the boy to make him come back home, she discovers that a man has been brutally killed. Some men from the township come to this colonist settlement in order to solve the crime, but being her son the prime suspect, Mrs. Ross needs to find him and prove he’s innocent. She will travel through the tundra accompanied by Parker, a Native American who earns a living as a trapper, but also a man who knows how to follow tracks in the snow; he has his own reasons for discovering who the murderer is.

My copy of the book

My copy of the book

So I hope you are ready for a tough journey through a settlement where outsiders are not welcome. Even Mrs. Ross, the spitting image of determination, will have a hard time travelling through this white landscape in search of her son. But there are other secrets buried deep down in the frozen land, and Parker and she are going to uncover them.

This is one of those books in which the setting makes the part of another character, and it’s hard to believe the author had never travelled to Canada before writing and publishing this novel! Penney nails not only the atmosphere, but also the characters – tightlipped men and women who must have been made of steel to survive in those adverse conditions, willing to start their new livings secluded in such an inhospitable landscape.

I would recommend you to prepare a blanket and, why not, a hot chocolate to fight the freeze that will enfold you while reading The tenderness of wolves. For me, it’s time to re-read.

rakin4The tenderness of wolves
Stef Penney
Published by Simon & Schuster
371 pages