The Wolf Road has been written by poet, Richard Lambert, and is soon to be published by Everything With Words this October (2020). I've thought long and hard about this book as it is so different from my usual reading material. In my opinion, you will either love or hate it depending on your own outlook and connection with the unique style and writing of this book. Some readers may just not connect with it or the issues that the book tackles such as coping and denial. However, if you do connect with it (like I did) then it will be one of the best books that you will read this year.
When you start on the road of this narrative the path is very tragic and hard-hitting. There really appears to be no light at the end of the tunnel. Lucas is the main character of the book and the story is told from his viewpoint. Unfortunately, he is involved in a car accident that kills both of his parents. Some books would play down this situation, but not this book. It faces the loss and grief head-on placing it at the epicentre of the plot. However, there is a little sense of mystery and a little glimmer of fantasy magic as Lucas has only one memory from the car accident. He remembers that it was a wolf that caused the crash but how? and what actually happened?
The book really resonates with me when he has to leave his family home to go and live with his nan in the Lake District. This is an area I can relate to very well. The story for me really comes alive as the setting of the book takes a vital hold on the plot. It's told in a poetic way that grips the reader. The detail and description of the wild and beautiful landscape cut through the hard and relentless element of grief, loss, loneliness, and bullying which have a huge stronghold on the story. This really is one of the many strengths of this story. At certain points, the climactic story leaves you clinging on for dear life.
There are so many great things to mention about this book such as the situations the characters face. They feel very real to me as they have been particularly well narrated. Another strong point is that it's not predictable in any way, you have absolutely no idea where the author is going to take you. However, this makes it particularly engaging and keeps you guessing throughout.
I loved this book so much - it really made me reflect on life, especially at a time like this. It's a powerful book about coping and dealing with grief, having the courage, determination, and understanding to find out who we are as a person. The book helps us in showing us the way. A wolf that comes in the dark and leaves in the light showering the reader and the characters with a beam of sunshine. We are not in charge of our own destiny just like Lucas, however, we can poke it in the right direction with the choice of stories and memoirs we keep in our heart. This is a story that will stay with me for a very long time. It's an incredible debut book from a fantastic new literary voice. Many thanks Mikka for the opportunity to read and breathe this book.