Socialization is what helps us become who we are and interact with other people. Beth Lewis’s The Wolf Road follows a young girl raised by one man in the remote woods, whose context for right and wrong, good and bad are skewed toward the moral compass of that one man.
For the past ten years, Elka has lived with a man she’s known as Trapper after wandering into the woods at the age of seven and getting stranded after a thunderhead. She learned how to hunt, how to kill, how to clean animals, and how to survive in the wilderness from Trapper. When she goes in to town to trade and sees Trapper’s tattooed face on a wanted poster, her life gets irrevocably changed and her concept of who she is changes dramatically, too. To be rid of the terrible things that Trapper has done, Elka must confront not only him, but the secrets she’s locked away from herself.
An intriguing story with the main conflict occurring within the central figure of Elka with the haunting figure of Trapper and his evil lurking quietly off-stage, as it were. I enjoyed how the narrative was written in dialect offered authenticity to the story, even if it was a touch difficult to read at times. While the time period that this novel is set in isn’t crucial, it was still a bit disorienting not having a clear idea of the context of when it was taking place and what happened to cause the world to be in the state that it’s in. It seemed as if it took place in the post-apocalyptic future since it talked about nuclear bombings, but the technology employed was more along the lines of the Wild West, so it made for an odd mash-up since it wasn’t adequately addressed in the text and rather just barely presented and moved on from as if it was the norm and not worth exploring further.
Overall, I’d give it a 4 out of 5 stars.
*I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.