History of Wolves || An Enigma of a Book

Maybe there is a way to climb above everything, some special ladder or insight, some optical vantage point that allows a clear, unobstructed view of things.


Title: History of Wolves
Author: Emily Fridlund
Page Count: 288 pages
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★ ★
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Release Date: January 3, 2017
Buy It: Chapters Indigo







Linda has an idiosyncratic home life: her parents live in abandoned commune cabins in northern Minnesota and are hanging on to the last vestiges of a faded counter-culture world. The kids at school call her ‘Freak’, or ‘Commie’.

She is an outsider in all things. Her understanding of the world comes from her observations at school, where her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography, and from watching the seemingly ordinary life of a family she babysits for. Yet while the accusation against the teacher is perhaps more innocent than it seemed at first, the ordinary family turns out to be more complicated.

As Linda insinuates her way into the family’s orbit, she realises they are hiding something. If she tells the truth, she will lose the normal family life she is beginning to enjoy with them; but if she doesn’t, their son may die.




The hardest thing about writing reviews for me is writing reviews for books I did not like. This one seems to have a lot of high ratings on Goodreads but here I am queen of the unpopular opinion again. This was a hard one to get through mostly because of the tone of the book. Hear me out if you’ve read it and loved it!

Linda aka Mattie aka Madeline has 3 names, the author was trying to make a point of inserting the idea of finding your self awareness as one of the central themes but it completely fell short for me.Mostly due to the fact that the main character had zero feeling. She is an empty shell with no opinions of her own. I was infuriated by her so much so that I could not connect to her whatsoever and I kept thinking well, she has to grow somewhat throughout the book right? Books without character development drive me crazy, I need it. It’s so hard to find anything I liked about her.

The whole book was littered with descriptive metaphors that seemed superfluous and repetitive. How many times do we need to know how a fish is skinned?

There’s a storyline in the novel about her high school teacher being accused of assaulting a student. This has nothing to do with the rest of the book. It’s so confusing. Why was that even in the book? Am I completely missing the point?

One last thing, the last chapter ended on such a strange note. I have no idea what the ending was or why it happened. This whole book is an enigma.

I hope you have better luck than I did if you decide to read it!


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