In this intriguing, coming-of-age novel, we are urged to care about Madeline, a naïve teenage girl raised in a now-defunct commune in the Minnesota woods. Unsure that she really belongs to the parents who raised her, she seeks a meaningful connection to other people in her community. Unfortunately, her choices bring her into contact with evil both overt, in the form of a pedophiliac high school teacher, but also covert, in the form of a seemingly nice, normal, neighboring couple with radical religious beliefs. Both have the ability to destroy her young life. In the end, we are left wondering about the origins of evil and its powers of corruption. A truly compelling story! — Shirley Cagle
A brilliantly imagined novel about a fourteen year old girl of peculiar upbringing who becomes entwined in the lives of a neighboring family. It is a rare novel whose story and astonishing writing style grab me on the very first page. This is the work of an amazing talent. — Stan Hynds
A teenager takes a job watching over the lonely, fragile four-year-old son of an enigmatic couple in the serene wilderness of northern Minnesota. The deeper the bond that develops between the two, the more certain the girl becomes that the family is harboring some dark secrets. This is a fascinating and disturbing story that drifts through the imagination like an unsettling mist. — Alden Graves
#1 Indie Next Pick; A New York Times Editors' Choice; A Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection; One of USA Today's Notable Books; An Amazon Best Book of the Month; A BEA Buzz Book; An ABA Indies Introduce Selection "The chilly power of History of Wolves packs a wallop that's hard to shake off . . . an elegant, troubling debut." --Los Angeles Times "Starkly affecting . . . one of the year's most lauded debuts." --Entertainment Weekly Teenage Linda lives with her parents in the austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outsider at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is faced with child pornography charges, his arrest deeply affects Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy. But with this new sense of belonging comes expectations and secrets she doesn't understand and, over the course of a summer, Linda makes a set of choices that reverberate throughout her life. One of the most daring literary debuts of the year and a national bestseller, History of Wolves is an agonizing and gorgeously written novel from an urgent, new voice in American fiction. "Imagine one of those twisty 'Girl'-titled mysteries in the hands of a great stylist. Fridlund's debut is something like that, but better . . . an indelible story of fascination and dread." --New York magazine"This captivating debut from a prodigious new talent injects taut suspense into a teenage girl's awakenings as she confronts a web of mysteries in the chilly woods of Minnesota. A lavishly written novel with more than a glimmer of dread." --O Magazine, one of 10 Titles to Pick Up Now
About the Author
Emily Fridlund grew up in Minnesota and currently resides in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Her fiction has appeared in a variety of journals, including Boston Review, Zyzzyva, Five Chapters, New Orleans Review, Sou'wester, New Delta Review, Chariton Review, The Portland Review, and Painted Bride Quarterly. She holds a PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Southern California. Fridlund's collection of stories, Catapult, was a finalist for the Noemi Book Award for Fiction and the Tartts First Fiction Award. It won the Mary McCarthy Prize and will be published by Sarabande in 2017. The opening chapter of History of Wolves was published in Southwest Review and won the 2013 McGinnis-Ritchie Award for Fiction.