I sat up high, oak branch ‘tween my knees, and watched the tattooed man stride about in the snow.
– Opening sentence
I received an absolutely beautiful proof copy of The Wolf Road from HarperFiction back in April, and spent the last two months staring at it wistfully before I finally caught up with my TBR pile and got the chance to read it.
I’d been seeing great reviews in my Twitter feed, so my expectations were pretty high.
I mean seriously, WOW.
Set in a future ravaged by a forgotten war, The Wolf Road follows the journey of Elka, a wild girl in a wild world who is on a mission to find her parents (and escape her dark past).
The way is long, and fraught with difficulties and challenges. But Elka is not like other girls her age, she was raised in the forest and knows how to survive.
But survival isn’t the problem. Elka has memories buried so deep that she doesn’t even remember them,
But she’s remembering them now.
Elka can survive if she wants too. But the physical progress of Elka’s journey is mirrored by her inner turmoil. As she struggles to come to terms with who she is and what she’s done, and as her journey up North becomes more perilous and bleak, will she want to keep surviving?
I was reminded of The Road as I continued to read; the darkness of humanity, the long journey through a broken land and the desperation of survival are all themes shared by both novels – although I think The Wolf Road does a better job of connecting with the reader.
I was also reminded of Thelma & Louise (1991), a film where two woman are running away from a dark deed, but on the way learn about themselves and the world, and what it means to be free.
Similarly in The Wolf Road, two young woman must face the cruelties of the world head-on, and discover what they are prepared to do to protect their freedom.
Lewis entrapped me with The Wolf Road. She drew me in with breathtaking scenery and a powerful, instantly-likable character, and she didn’t let me go. She made me watch Elka struggle, knowing I could do nothing to help her, and she teased me about what was to come.
I sort of hate Beth Lewis, a little bit.
Actually, I can’t believe this is a debut novel.
Girl got skills.
(5 / 5)
Whatever god it was looking down on me must a’ taken pity, heard my revelation, or figured I’d suffered enough in my short life, ’cause on the sixth day out a’ Tin River, I found tracks only one wild beast could make and in the seventh day I heard him howling.
– Final sentence