Friday, November 1, 2013

A love story in cattle country and the threat of wolves

In the ranching community of Hope, Montana, wolves make their presence known by killing a number of the ranchers' cattle.

The ranchers, led by the powerful Buck Calder, would like to exterminate the wolves but the wolves are protected by government laws.

Helen Ross, a wolf biologist, is sent to the area to tag and protect the wolves. She is provided a cabin in the mountains so she can do her work in the area that is closer to the wolves trails.

Buck's son, Luke, is an eighteen-year-old who dislikes the idea of killing animals. He and Helen form a relationship that becomes romantic. They both attempt to protect the wolves from the ranchers' hatred.

The story presents both points of view, the care for an endangered species that had roamed this area, and the survival of the ranchers' cattle.

Among the unique characters we meet is J.J. Lovelace, a wolf catcher. He seems to have no love for anyone but is captivated by a one-year-old child he comes across at Buck's ranch. This encounter seems to open an area of Lovelace's soul.

Helen is a character the reader can empathize with, trying to do a job surrounded by ranchers who hate what she's doing. The pacing of the story is also well done as we get to see the town folk deal with the elements of a snowy winter.

The story is based on relationships and Luke's development as a character is well documented. He had been under his stern father's rule but even as a young person, he is strong enough to make up his own mind about the wolves and his future.

The story was enjoyable and it leave a good memory of Hope, Montana and make us wonder what the community might be like today.


Harvee said...

Reminds me of a mystery novel I read by Nevada Barr set on Isle Royale, a preserve for wolves in the middle of Lake Superior. Sounds like a fascinating novel.

Tracy Terry said...

Sounds like a romance with a difference. Thanks for the recommendation.

Michael Draper said...

I enjoy Nevada Barr and wasn't familiar with the book you mention, Harvee, I'll have to check it out.

Tracy, thanks for stopping by, I'm glad you enjoyed my review.


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