Book Club Reflection Part 2: History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

4 Oct

I read History of Wolves earlier this year for another book club discussion. I wasn’t able to refresh myself on the plot before my second book club met to discuss it last week. I was surprised at how much I remembered, though! We didn’t have a huge group, and some speculated it was a reflection on our feelings of the book. Maddie’s life was very different from ours and that made it a bit hard to relate to her and get into the book.

The teacher’s role in the book was a bit ambiguous to us. I mentioned my feeling that the book had two plots that didn’t mesh together well, and some seemed to agree. His storyline was more about redemption. He felt guilty for what he’d done in California and that he’d never suffered for it. He wanted to suffer, in a way. In the end, it’s Maddie that gives him closure. He doesn’t really have a good closure himself.

We talked a lot about the relationship between Maddie and Patra. It was a very motherly relationship even though the girls weren’t too apart in age. Patra wanted a woman to interact with in her adulthood. Her youth was shortened when she had Paul and she wanted to feel young again. Maddie had such an unconventional mother and childhood that we felt she was looking for someone she could have fun with and be a girl around. Patra’s life and home were very isolated from outside influence. It was implied that Paul was unruly and needed to be ‘controlled’ in some way. Living there provided that. When we thought through the timeline, Leo and Patra decided to move to that home after they knew Paul was diabetic. They knew he’d be far from care in that house.

Leo is fanatical and controlling. Even Maddie, who’s not afraid of anything else in this book, is afraid of Leo. She doesn’t want to give Patra the Tylenol for Paul because she’s afraid of how Leo will react. That guilt stayed with Maddie for the rest of her life. It ran into the guilt she felt for not defending her teacher against Lilly’s accusations though I think she was confused about how it would have played out because of what was found in his home.

Sorry for a short post, it was a small group and no one seemed strongly impassioned about this one. I did enjoy it as I said in my review, but I think it should have just focused on the story with Patra, Leo, and Paul.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

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