"Another story that returns to the past in order to tell a compelling tale is Rosanne Hawke's poetic and wonderfully ambient 'Wolfchild'. Set in the lost land of Lyonnesse in the years 1098 and 1099, Hawke draws the reader into the simple yet rich world of young Morwenna and the cycle that is her life. Throughout the seasons, we follow Morwenna's attempts to tame the wolf and the strange, aggressive young boy, Raw, who have appeared on the outskirts of her village. Strict laws forbid her from endangering the hamlet by inviting Raw to join her family. Further, there is a legend of a child raised by wolves, wild and dangerous. A dreamer and gentle soul, Morwenna knows that Raw is neither wolfchild,
nor wicked stranger, but is confused as to how she can make her
community believe this. The reader follows the struggles of Morwenna as she seeks to fulfil her familial and civic duties while also trying to uncover the mystery that is Raw's past.
The reader is drawn into the mythic and real world of the ninth [sic] century. The burgeoning Christian faith, blended with mystic paganism, is beautifullydrawn and captures the essence of the austere world of Morwenna and herfamily, which, even as the novel opens, is on the brink of irrevocable change. But is it the presence of Raw and the majestic wolf that will bring the metamorphosis, or something else?
Suitable for readers eight and up, this book serves as a wonderful introduction to history and fantasy and would be a fabulous adjunct to many syllabi thatseek to plunge students into the past. The voice and tone of the novel ring true, and Morwenna, Raw and their disparate worlds are realistically and eloquently figured."
- 'Wolfchild' - Review from the 'Australian Book Review' Sept 2003, p61.
By Karen Brooks
More reviews of 'Wolfchild' from:
'Viewpoint' 11 (3) Spring 2003, p21. By Raymond Huber
'Reading Time' Vol 47 No 3, p34.
'Magpies' Vol 18, No 3 - July 2003, by Russ Merrin