Top critical review
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2018
I recently have become a big fan of this author and was really looking forward to reading this book. Having finished it, however, I am somewhat disappointed. The plot was very predictable, and there were many, many loose ends that were never tied up at the end. One completely inaccurate detail was "Alice" and her relationship with the wolf pup, and her relationship with wolves in general. The problem is, wolves were exterminated from the Olympic Peninsula decades ago and have not become re-established. Anyone who is familiar with this area, as the author of the book claims to be, would know this. Coyotes yes, wolves no. I was unable to reconcile this disconnect. As we eventually discovered the circumstances under which she had ended up being "raised" in the woods with little human contact, save her captor about which we were told almost nothing, many other details did not add up either. Such as, how did she end up being so influenced by wolves and other wild creatures, as well as so adept at tree-climbing and moving about in the woods, when she had been captive and shackled and tortured for nearly all of the 4 years leading up to her discovery?? Or was that not the case?? Nothing was clear about any of this. But the disappearance of her captor is what caused her to venture into town looking for food, which is when she was discovered, so one can only assume he kept her a prisoner for the 4 years leading up to that. This is but one of many questions I had as I neared the ending. I also wanted to know more about her captor, the murderer of her mother, the man who shackled this little girl and kept her prisoner. Who was he, and why did he do it?? Exactly what happened, and what were the circumstances that led up to the kidnapping? What did he do to Alice for the 4 years he had her, and why?? For me, he needed to be more than just a generic bad guy. Run-of-the-mill bad guys, who are otherwise uninteresting, do not kidnap a mother and her 2-year old daughter, kill the mother, and keep the 2-year old as a prisoner in the woods for 4 years without there being something really messed up. I would have found these details far more interesting than the few that were shared about the girl's father! The question of whether the father did it or not was nowhere near suspenseful enough to make up for what we were never told about the man who did do it. Thus, I was left disappointed and unfulfilled, even with the happy (but predictable and boring) ending. Also, I was desperate for one more chapter, which skipped to when "Alice" became a young adult, to learn what sort of person she eventually became. I had so hoped for that but was left wanting. Too bad, this book could have been over-the-top excellent had these additional details been fully explored, and had the wolf shtick been omitted... unnecessary to the plot, even if there were wolves in the Olympics. As it is, three stars anyway, because like all of this author's books, you get wrapped up in the plot and can't put it down!