Empire of wild A novel

Cherie Dimaline, 1975-

Book - 2020

Joan has been searching for her missing husband, Victor, for nearly a year - ever since that terrible night they'd had their first serious argument. Still grieving and severely hungover, Joan hears Victor's unmistakable voice coming from inside a revival tent in a gritty Walmart parking lot. He has the same face, the same eyes, the same hands. He doesn't recognize Joan, insists his name is Eugene Wolff, and that he is a reverend whose mission is to spread the word of Jesus and gro...w His flock. Joan turns to Ajean, an elderly foul-mouthed card shark who is one of the few among Métis community steeped in the traditions of the Métis people and knowledgeable about their ancient enemies. -- adapted from jacket

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Subjects
Genres
Fantasy fiction
Paranormal fiction
Suspense fiction
Werewolf fiction
Published
New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2020]
Edition
First U.S. edition
Language
English
Item Description
"Originally published in Canada in 2019 by Random House Canada."--Title page verso.
Physical Description
300 pages ; 21 cm
ISBN
9780062975942
0062975943
Main Author
Cherie Dimaline, 1975- (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Joan is certain her husband Victor isn't dead, but is surprised to find him acting as a reverend in a revival tent, unable to recognize her. She's determined to get him back by reminding him that he is human—but it may not be easy. The setting of the novel is richly written, populated by the Canadian Métis community and their legends of the Rogarou, a werewolf-like creature that haunts the woods and preys on the misbehaved. Dimaline's writing is sharp and quick, and as the novel develops, teeth and bone and horror begin to lurk at the edges of the story, and while some plot twists are jarring, the book moves rapidly towards its finish. Dimaline's weaponization of her female protagonists' sexuality can be excessive, and the two female main characters, Joan and romantic rival Cecile, are often preoccupied with their jealousy and blind dislike of each other. That said, Joan's stubborn determination, and her nephew Zeus's loyalty, bring a strong emotional core to the book, which is supported by their loyal but volatile family. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Award-winning Métis author Dimaline makes her debut with an American publisher, Empire of Wild, the edgy story of Joan, heard fighting vituperatively with her now missing husband, who believes she spots him posing as a charismatic preacher in a battered revival tent (75,000-copy first printing). The youngest winner ever of Italy's prestigious Premio Strega, Giordano (The Solitude of Prime Numbers) returns with Heaven and Earth to limn the enduring bonds linking Teresa to three young men she meets one summer in Puglia, her father's childhood home. From debuter Mackenzie, a Commonwealth Short Story Prize winner, One Year of Ugly (60,000-copy first printing) takes a humorous approach to recount the travails of a Venezuelan family living illegally in Trinidad. A best-selling author in mass market, McKinlay moves into trade paperback original with Paris Is Always a Good Idea, the story.` of a young woman who revisits her gap year in Ireland, France, and Italy, looking for lost loves but finding something different. In the No. 1 New York Times best-selling Macomber's A Walk Along the Beach, shy Willa—especially close to sister Harper after their mother's death—is ready to follow Harper's advice about risking love until tragedy befalls Harper. Martin returns after his high-flying debut, Early Work, with the story collection Cool for America about the gap between what people want and what they achieve. Winner of the Terry Southern Prize, Nugent shows us all the stumbling antics of near-adults in Fraternity. In Poeppel's Musical Chairs, Bridget and Will hatch a plan to lure shining-star violinist Gavin Glantz back to their Forsyth Trio, which they founded together as Juilliard students, even as Bridget wrestles with multiple family complications (40,000-copy first printing). Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Joan, a Métis woman living in rural Ontario, has been looking for her missing husband, Victor, for 11 months. While her extended family wants her to acknowledge that Victor likely is either dead or has left her, Joan's stubbornness is justified when she sees someone who appears to be Victor, acting as a preacher in a tent revival meeting in a Walmart parking lot. Now going by the name Reverend Wolff, Victor does not seem to remember who he is or to recognize Joan, but she suspects he is somehow under the control of the sinister Mr. Heiser or possibly possessed by a Rogarou, a mythical half-man, half-wolf creature. With the help of her 12-year-old cousin, Zeus, and some medicine provided by community elder Ajean, Joan sets out to rescue Victor before it's too late. VERDICT This new work from Canadian Métis writer Dimaline, celebrated for her YA novel The Marrow Thieves, recalls Neil Gaiman's American Gods in its grittiness and humor as well as its depiction of gods and legendary creatures interfering in the lives of contemporary humans. Despite Joan's tendency to smoke and drink too much and make foolish choices, her dogged determination to reclaim Victor and her belief in their love make her someone to root for. [See Prepub Alert, 1/15/20.]—Christine DeZelar-Tiedman, Univ. of Minnesota Libs., Minneapolis Copyright 2020 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Dimaline's inventive, passionate quest narrative (after her YA novel The Marrow Thieves) draws on the Métis myth of a werewolflike creature known as Rogarou. In the predominantly Catholic First Nations community of Arcand, Ontario, tales of the Rogarou haunt the town's inhabitants ("Broke Lent? The rogarou will come for you"). After Joan Beausoleil argues one night with her husband, Victor, over whether she should sell her ancestral land, Victor walks out and never comes back, and Joan spends nearly a year searching for him. Dimaline wrenchingly describes Joan's rabid determination, and conveys the passion of their early relationship. Just as Joan is about to give up hope, she recognizes Victor in a revival tent at a WalMart parking lot, but he claims not to know her and to be Rev. Eugene Wolff. Shocked and angry at being told that she's mistaken, Joan sets out to discover what happened to him. Aided by her 12-year-old nephew and an elder who convinces Joan that Victor is under the spell of the Rogarou, Joan tracks the beast in search of answers. The novel is at times sad, at times humorous, and at times terrifying. Smartly written with believable characters, a tight plot, and breathtaking sentences, this is a must-read literary thriller. Agent: Ron Eckel, Cooke International. (July) Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A story inspired by the Canadian Mâetis legend of the Rogarou finds a woman reconnecting with her heritage when her missing husband reappears in the form of a charismatic preacher who does not recognize her.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Inspired by the Canadian Métis legend of the Rogarou, a U.S. debut finds a woman reconnecting with her heritage when her missing husband reappears in the form of a charismatic preacher who does not recognize her. 75,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

'Deftly written, gripping and informative. Empire of Wild is a rip-roaring read!''margaret Atwood, From Instagram'Empire of Wild is doing everything I love in a contemporary novel and more. It is tough, funny, beautiful, honest and propulsive'all the while telling a story that needs to be told by a person who needs to be telling it.''tommy Orange, author of There ThereA bold and brilliant new indigenous voice in contemporary literature makes her American debut with this kinetic, imaginative, and sensuous fable inspired by the traditional Canadian Métis legend of the Rogarou'a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of native people's communities.Joan has been searching for her missing husband, Victor, for nearly a year'ever since that terrible night they'd had their first serious argument hours before he mysteriously vanished. Her Métis family has lived in their tightly knit rural community for generations, but no one keeps the old ways . . . until they have to. That moment has arrived for Joan.One morning, grieving and severely hungover, Joan hears a shocking sound coming from inside a revival tent in a gritty Walmart parking lot. It is the unmistakable voice of Victor. Drawn inside, she sees him. He has the same face, the same eyes, the same hands, though his hair is much shorter and he's wearing a suit. But he doesn't seem to recognize Joan at all. He insists his name is Eugene Wolff, and that he is a reverend whose mission is to spread the word of Jesus and grow His flock. Yet Joan suspects there is something dark and terrifying within this charismatic preacher who professes to be a man of God . . . something old and very dangerous.Joan turns to Ajean, an elderly foul-mouthed card shark who is one of the few among her community steeped in the traditions of her people and knowledgeable about their ancient enemies. With the help of the old Métis and her peculiar Johnny-Cash-loving, twelve-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan must find a way to uncover the truth and remind Reverend Wolff who he really is . . . if he really is. Her life, and those of everyone she loves, depends upon it.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

“Deftly written, gripping and informative. Empire of Wild is a rip-roaring read!”—Margaret Atwood, From Instagram“Empire of Wild is doing everything I love in a contemporary novel and more. It is tough, funny, beautiful, honest and propulsive—all the while telling a story that needs to be told by a person who needs to be telling it.”—Tommy Orange, author of There ThereA bold and brilliant new indigenous voice in contemporary literature makes her American debut with this kinetic, imaginative, and sensuous fable inspired by the traditional Canadian Métis legend of the Rogarou—a werewolf-like creature that haunts the roads and woods of native people’s communities.Joan has been searching for her missing husband, Victor, for nearly a year—ever since that terrible night they’d had their first serious argument hours before he mysteriously vanished. Her Métis family has lived in their tightly knit rural community for generations, but no one keeps the old ways . . . until they have to. That moment has arrived for Joan.One morning, grieving and severely hungover, Joan hears a shocking sound coming from inside a revival tent in a gritty Walmart parking lot. It is the unmistakable voice of Victor. Drawn inside, she sees him. He has the same face, the same eyes, the same hands, though his hair is much shorter and he's wearing a suit. But he doesn't seem to recognize Joan at all. He insists his name is Eugene Wolff, and that he is a reverend whose mission is to spread the word of Jesus and grow His flock. Yet Joan suspects there is something dark and terrifying within this charismatic preacher who professes to be a man of God . . . something old and very dangerous.Joan turns to Ajean, an elderly foul-mouthed card shark who is one of the few among her community steeped in the traditions of her people and knowledgeable about their ancient enemies. With the help of the old Métis and her peculiar Johnny-Cash-loving, twelve-year-old nephew Zeus, Joan must find a way to uncover the truth and remind Reverend Wolff who he really is . . . if he really is. Her life, and those of everyone she loves, depends upon it.