There are humor, suspense, family drama, surprises, ironies of all kinds, a smoldering romance, conflicts, animosity, suspense, farce, triumphs and sorrows in Meyers' novel. And all is woven around a continuing meditation on moral complexity and finally the great difficulty of doing the right thing when there are deep emotions, conflicting points of view, and only degrees of violence and loss to choose from.
The four young men at the center of this story, two Indians, a cowboy, and a German exchange student, each bears a legacy of history that pulls them together in the single effort to rescue three horses. Meyers makes them come to life vividly through action, thought, and dialogue. Around them is another dozen or so characters, just as carefully drawn and revealed through illuminating flashes of incident. And as in the author's other work (Light in the Crossing, The River Warren), there is the continuing presence of the landscape and the seasons, as summer turns to autumn and snow-driven winter.
|South Dakota, Needles Highway overlook (CC) Vladsinger|
Especially interesting is the characterization of the young cowboy, whose ancestry in American literature dates back to Owen Wister's Virginian. Here is that same set of values, courage, pure-heartedness, and self-containment, 100 years later, set in conflict with a cunning villain. It is moving to learn what has become of him.
The Work of Wolves is currently available at amazon, Abebooks, Alibris, and for kindle and the nook. Friday’s Forgotten Books is the bright idea of Patti Abbott over at pattinase.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons
Coming up: Tom Mix, Sky High (1922)