Wolf Hollow

Lauren Wolk

Wolf Hollow
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Wolf Hollow

Lauren Wolk

Annabelle has lived in Wolf Hollow all her life: a quiet place, still scarred by two world wars. But when cruel, manipulative Betty arrives in town, Annabelle’s calm world is shattered, along with everything she’s ever known about right and wrong.

When Betty accuses gentle loner Toby - a traumatised ex-soldier - of a terrible act, Annabelle knows he’s innocent. Then Betty disappears …

Now Annabelle must protect Toby from the spiralling accusations and hysteria, until she can prove to Wolf Hollow what really happened to Betty.

Powerful, poignant and lyrical, Wolf Hollow is an unforgettable story.

Review

Growing up on a Pennsylvanian farm in 1940s America is a wholesome life for eleven-year-old Annabelle. Elder sister to two younger brothers, Annabelle does not begrudge having to keep a watchful, protective eye over them. Nor does she mind the many chores she is responsible for on the family farm. Annabelle’s family have managed the farm for generations and are quiet, hard-working folk . But when outsider Betty Glengarry moves into the area no one could anticipate the havoc and destruction one girl will bring to this community.

In predatory and wolf-like ways Betty seeks out vulnerable targets and finds her perfect victim in Toby, a reclusive WWI veteran living rough on the land. Annabelle’s family treat Toby with kindness and are curious to know the backstory that broke the man they have come to respect. But the local community are less trusting and regard Toby with wary tolerance. When a local girl is brutally attacked and another goes missing, the community’s fear and prejudice is easily manipulated. As in The Crucible, hysteria and false testimony play a destructive part in this story and an innocent man is unfairly persecuted.

Lauren Wolk’s debut novel is a profound work that demonstrates a heightened social conscience. But it is Annabelle’s character that gives this work moral backbone and her defiance against community prejudice demonstrates a humanity and wisdom beyond her years.


Natalie Platten works as a bookseller at Readings Malvern.

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