Hungry for Home: A Wolf Odyssey

'Asta Bowen, Author, Jane Meyer, Author
'Asta Bowen, Author, Jane Meyer, Author Simon & Schuster $22 (224p) ISBN 978-0-684-82361-4
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 01/01/1997
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-0-684-83660-7
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Based on a true story, this powerful first novel dramatizes the tragedies and triumphs of a female wolf battling to find her way home after she and her pups have been relocated by well-meaning humans. Marta is trying to raise a trio of cubs in Pleasant Valley, nestled in Montana's Rocky Mountains. After the death of her mate, she has only an older lone wolf, Oldtooth, as her companion. Plucky Marta succeeds in her cub-rearing despite almost overwhelming obstacles, only to see her small pack captured, tagged and moved to Nine Mile Valley as part of an experiment to relocate the wolves into more hospitable terrain. Driven by her homing instinct, she inadvertently ensures the death of her offspring and her companion by trying to make her way back to Pleasant Valley. She stakes out new territory and finds a new mate who, with some unexpected human assistance, helps her raise another pack. Striving to inhabit the wild psyche of Marta with a minimum of anthropomorphic sentimentality, Bowen produces a genuinely eye-opening tale. She conveys both a reverence for the ways of the wild and a realistic grasp of wolves' fear of humans. And, despite a grim ending, she holds out cautious hope for experiments to find new homes in the Western woods for the wolf. Line drawings by Jane Hart Meyer, not seen by PW. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternate selection. (Jan.)
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