The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
I received this book for free from Blogging for Books, all opinions are my own.
This is a perfect read for October! When I saw the cover on Blogging for Books, it caught my eye and looked like something that would put me on edge. While it isn’t outright horror, it is still scary. The story follows a girl named Elka as she runs from her past, the law, and the man who raised her after finding her in the woods. At age 7 she finds herself lost in the woods after a terrible storm, and wander across a man who lives in a shack in the middle of the woods. He is a hunter and a trapper, who takes her in, gives her a name, and teacher her everything that he knows about surviving in the wilderness. She remembers him fondly as Trapper, only learning his real name later.
In a way, it reminds me of The Road, being that it takes place in a post-end-of-the-world landscape in the Yukon, where the land was riddled with bombs and the aftermath turned the weather crazy and made winters even more harsh. It made the people harsh too and Elka learns that the hard way once she ventures further North in search of a better life, hoping that one is waiting for her. Although, she doesn’t set out on good terms. She learns the truth about the man who raised her, who he truly is, and with that, she has to face what she’s done in those years that he was raising her, and along with that, she has the run from the law.
I loved Elka as a character, she is the perfect blend of strong and weak. She can survive the hardships of living in the wild, but is weak when it comes to dealing with fellow humans and emotions. She has a rough past that she’s struggling to come to terms with and it clashes with her present. The relationship that she builds with Penelope is precious, and throughout the book there is a strong theme of goodness shining through the grit and darkness. Regardless of the state of the world, how miserable and corrupt it is, how many people are violent and self-serving, there is still good out there as well.
I was rooting for Elka the whole time I was reading, and I loved seeing how she opened up slowly to different characters that she met along the way. Learning her story slowly throughout the book was a nice touch as well. I had an inkling that I knew where it was going once everything first came to light about Trapper, but I liked actually knowing that I was right when the ending rolled around.
I liked the book throughout, there wasn’t any part I can really find to complain about, aside from how easily things work out for Elka in some ways. Almost as if she’s being watched over by a god of the forest or something. Still, I enjoyed the story and I liked the ending, as well, where things go back to their natural state. All the secrets come to light and you are left understanding everyone and where they came from. If you enjoyed reading The Road, or if you like books about the end-of-the-world where it isn’t a main focus but only the landscape, then this is a great book to pick up, and it’s perfect for October!