Friday 28 September 2012

'Wolf Girl' - Theresa Tomlinson

‘Wolf Girl’ – Theresa Tomlinson

Reviewed by Pauline Chandler

There are so many wonderful children’s books to choose from these days. Do you read the one ‘everyone’s talking about’? Or the one recommended by a friend? One in a genre you enjoy? Fantasy, Mystery, Horror, History?  Online reviews and splendid blogs, like this one, can help, but the whole thing’s a bit of a lottery. What’s more, the life of a modern book can generally be counted in months, not years. Driven by the publishing industry, there’s a vast turnover, with authors expected to produce a new book every year, dove-tailing the birth of one book with the decline and demise of another. And modern books, these ‘fast food’ treasures, are largely produced in paperback, with built-in obsolescence. How many books do you read twice?  How many do you let go? How many do you keep? And what if you’ve missed a great book? You might find it. You might not. And a treasure is lost.

Let’s hope that doesn’t happen to this exciting Saxon story by Theresa Tomlinson. ‘Wolf Girl’is a historical adventure, set in 9thc. England, with a great deal of authentic detail, which I love, but it’s the delightful Wulfrun, wolf girl of the title, who hooks us into this story. She’s a fine brave heroine, forced to grow up quickly to meet tough challenges. When her mother is accused of stealing a valuable royal necklace, Wulfrun fights to save her life. Heartbroken, she knows that it’s her fault that the necklace was found. It was she who took it from her mother’s chest, to wear and admire. It’s up to her to put things right and save her mother if she can.  

A cast of appealing characters helps or hinders Wulfrun’s quest. Some are based on historical figures, such as Abbess Hilda of Whitby and Caedmon the poet. Others, the author’s own, become friends or enemies, through the roller-coaster ride of an exciting plot. One aspect that I particularly enjoyed was Wulfrun’s relationship with the two younger girls entrusted to her care: the tyrannical Princess Elfled, who despises Wulfrun as a thief’s daughter, and Gode, Wulfrun’s sister, who misses her mother and objects to taking orders from her big sister.

‘Wolf Girl’ is still available as an ebook online. Theresa Tomlinson is working with her delightful heroine, Wulfrun, in a new adult/YA book, inspired by the Caedfael stories and set in the author's home landscape of Northumbria, a murder mystery, entitled ‘A Swarm of Bees.’ Definitely one to look out for.

Pauline Chandler     



Penny Dolan said...

Wolves and history - what an enticing mix! Glad to hear Wolf Girl is still available. Thanks.

Ann Turnbull said...

I loved some of Theresa Tomlinson's earlier books, but somehow missed this one. Thanks for telling us about it, Pauline.

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