I read Theft, loved it, and recommend it to other lobo lovers, but I’m no book reviewer-so I compiled a few reviews by others who have said it better than I.
-Roxane George, Mexican gray wolf advocate
Famous writer Ivan Doig said of the book:
“BK Loren writes sentences, paragraphs, chapters like lit fuses. Theft is an ambitious and distinctive fiction debut, taking us into the lives of two endangered species, Mexican wolves and a Southwest underclass family, equally hunted by fate.” —Ivan Doig, author of Work Song
THEFT and FIRE SEASON: BK Loren and Philip Connors Taking the West by Storm
Wolves are benevolent. Wolves are demons. Little Red Riding Hood should have never trusted the big bad one, and Liam Neeson and the crew of The Grey really did eat one—I think. Well, it could have been a Hollywood publicity stunt. Or maybe the film’s director just wanted the actors to take Alaska’s wilderness, and wildlife, seriously. We are what we eat. We are also what we watch, and what we read.
The wolves in BK Loren’s debut novel THEFT are nothing like the wolves in The Grey. Actually, no real wolf pack much resembles the wolves in The Grey. Hollywood is good at creating heroes and villains, just like the federal government when it began subsidizing wolf extermination on federal lands in 1915. (Read “Wolves and the Balance of Nature” Smithsonian).
Unlike the government, BK doesn’t use the novel to further an agenda, political or otherwise. THEFT tells a story without burdening the reader, though we’re left a bit haunted (in a good way). Life is not simple in this lyrical novel – the brother and sister are so real that they bleed on the page, the wolves are neither teddy bears nor monsters, the story’s landscape is large and contoured with conflict, and the narrative voices as diverse as the West. Yet somehow BK manages to create such a taut “through line” that the reader never gets lost even when the complex characters lose their way. (Did I mention that the main character Willa is a professional tracker?) No irony there. But this time, instead of tracking Mexican wolves, she’s tracking her brother. Read the plot line and come to the Denver Tattered Cover book signing June 18.
I gratefully grabbed a hold of this through line during a 22-hour return trip home from Peru. If I’d been flying with a crow instead of an airplane, I would have passed directly over the historic homeland of the Mexican Grey Wolf (featured on the book’s cover). “¦
For BK Loren, writing a story is not just about watching, or telling, it’s about listening. “It begins with listening to a whisper,” she says (quoted from New Millennium Writings). Is there a bit of autobiography in THEFT? Of course. No good book gets written that the author’s own blood, sweat and tears does not somehow permeate the pages. Maybe that’s why I liked Willa the tracker so much. Like BK, she listens. She understands that hope lies in understanding the language of the Other.
“Across the land, one wolf howls. There is a gap of time when there is nothing. And then, another wolf answers. They go back and forth like this, the howls like brushstrokes hollowing out the night with sound.”
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