Rachel Caine has a kinship with wolves.
She first encounters them as a child in a rundown Victorian menagerie in Cumbria. Spellbound, she watches as a ‘creature so fine, its eyes as keen as gold, sorrowless’ runs behind a cage.
Decades later Rachel has eschewed family conflicts and romantic attachments for a life spent monitoring wolves on an Idaho reservation.
Then, things change – she’s offered a controversial but hugely appealing chance to oversee a project that would reintroduce the Grey Wolf into England, but returning home is complicated.
She’s estranged from her stepbrother Lawrence, who left home when he was 14, and wary of her mother, the once irrepressible Binny who is now slowly succumbing to cancer.
She decides to take the job and face back in to family life, in all its fraught complexities.
Sarah Hall is wonderful at delving into divided loyalties, and homes in brilliantly on the nature of wildness and wilderness, and the world of the wolf who stalks though this powerful novel with such grace.
The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall (Faber & Faber, £17.99)