Updated: Apr 3, 2020
'Slice a life any way you like and it'll always tell a different story.' Open this novel, Wolfe Island, at any page and there is a different line to cast its hook and catch you unaware. I fell deeply into this story, surprised, charmed and mesmerised by its lyrical voice, the voice of Kitty Hawke, a loner, a creative spirit, a woman who knows how to look after herself and will do whatever it takes to protect those she love. She is such a strong, independent character. You feel her deep-rooted allegiance to her sense of peace, her island and her wolf dog, Girl..
When Kitty's granddaughter and friends arrive, seeking sanctuary, Kitty's way of life is blown off course. No longer able to remain remote, Kitty (and you the reader) are drawn irretrievably into Kitty's account of their struggle and survival, of the bonds of kith and kin, of both love and betrayal. Life and humanity are revealed in all their glory and fragility.
Lucy Treloar has woven such a detailed and artful tale in Wolfe Island, evoking a very real sense of place, a nostalgia for the past, and a fear for the future. The island is a character in its own right, with its rising waters and eroding shores. It is easy to feel you are standing beside Kitty with the, 'briny smell, the whump of air at my ears ... and a skiff lit by sun, a fair way out still, skittering the waves and heading my way'.
Wolfe Island is wonderfully rich and imaginative. For me it seemed part-allegory and part-elegy. its characters, especially Kitty, will stay with me for many days to come and I look forward to delving back into the pages of Wolfe Island to remind myself of all the many reasons I so relished this book.
Here is another perfect slice of Wolfe Island:
'Memories are as faithful as dogs in their way, though not always tame.'