I’m always on the lookout for new talent and newly published books. My friend B had posted a picture of her reading Emily Fridlund’s debute novel History of Wolves, which I found intriguing. I decided to place a library hold and see what I thought of the book.
Linda is our story’s protagonist, and she is determined to tell us about her life, albeit in a messy and unorganized fashion. We find out that she was part of a cultish religion, which abandoned her family, who decided to stay in rural Minnesota. The majority of the action takes place while she is in middle school when her teacher is accused of possessing child pornography. One of her friends comes forward with assault allegations. At the same time, a family moves across the lake, and Linda is swept up into their unusual life before she realizes that not everything is as it seems. We get the story in pieces, told when Linda is much older and trying to reflect on the summer that changed her entire existence.
I’m going to be honest. I did not care for this book much at all. The plot was messy and incoherent at times. There was no reason for why so many flashbacks existed, and thus it didn’t feel purposeful or like it had any direction at all. It also just lacked the kind of finesse that you expect from a story this complicated. I think Emily Fridlund has real potential, but it’s not recognized in this book. And that may not be a bad thing. You may like it more than me, but I felt like I had read this kind of book before. We’ll see how Fridlund’s next novel goes.