Saturday, November 11, 2017

"Wolf Season"

Helen Benedict is a professor at Columbia University and the author of seven novels, including the just-published Wolf Season, and her previous novel, Sand Queen, a Publishers Weekly “Best Contemporary War Novel.” She writes frequently about justice, women, soldiers, and war.

Benedict applied the Page 69 Test to Wolf Season and reported the following:
From page 69:
Louis drove them to his favorite refuge; a nature preserve called Myosotis, just south of Huntsville. During those nights in Iraq when the sleep was driven from him by doubts or heat, aches or illness, the deeds of the day burning into him like a branding iron, he would try to escape by walking through this park in his memory, forcing himself to recall every twist of its trails, landmark oak or hemlock; every hawk or bald eagle he had seen sailing over its lake. Myosotis, he knew, was Greek for forget-me-not.

Parking on the edge of a tree-shaded road, he led them down a pebbled path, a stream on one side, a mossy bank on the other, a wash of golden-green light trickling through the dense woods around them. It was a torpid August day, but here the air was leaf-cool and fresh, and as he gestured for Naema and Tariq to move ahead of him, he saw her lift her face and inhale.
This scene is a flashback to when Louis, an Iraq War army veteran, first gets to know Naema and her little son, Tariq, refugees from that same war. In some ways, the page does a good job of representing the novel, for nature is important in this story, as is the way war reaches out to entangle people, even in a little American town like Huntsville, New York.

The novel is set in this town of Huntsville, and every character – three mothers, their three children, Louis, and an active duty marine named Todd – are all affected by war. True to the title, wolves are in this novel, too, but if readers want to find out why, they will have to read it!
Learn more about Helen Benedict and her work at her official website.

My Book, The Movie: Sand Queen.

The Page 69 Test: Sand Queen.

--Marshal Zeringue