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Book pick: ‘Wilderness’ fascinating look at woman who turns into a wolf April 11, 2010

Posted by Diana McCabe in Authors, Reviews/summaries.
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If it weren’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t have found Dennis DanversWILDERNESS, a low-key, but fascinating story about a woman who says she turns into a wolf.  Someone mentioned the title in a Tweet, and I found it in the bookstore in the science-fiction section with a rather risque cover. Don’t let the cover put you off. WILDERNESS is a thoughtful but sensual story that makes you wonder “what it?”

The novel’s heroine — Alice White — is a loner. She lives by herself. Doesn’t have any friends. She’s got a job as a travel agent — who never travels. And the only intimate contact she allows with other humans is the occasional one-night stand with guys she picks up at the bar.

Alice keeps her distance from other people because she doesn’t want them to know her secret. Once a month at the full moon, she locks herself in her basement and turns into a wolf. She even brings a big bag of dog kibble down before the change so she’ll have something to eat.

Alice hasn’t totally kept her secret. She is seeing a psychiatrist, who is starting to fall in love with her. (And he’s married.) Does her shrink believe her or just think she’s nuts? It doesn’t matter because she meets Erik Summers, a wildlife biologist, who is going through a divorce. Alice and Erik are attracted to each other, but does Alice dare tell him she can turn into a wolf? And when she’s fallen in love with him — even though his ex-wife is trying to win him back — should she still risk her heart by telling him the truth?

The most intriguing parts in the story come when Alice is in her wolf form. She is almost a different character — and not in the scary werewolf way we often read about.

In the end, Danvers, who originally published this story in 1991, but it was just re-released, is reminding his readers about love and commitment. Can you/will you love the person you think you want to be with despite their differences?

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1. Marta Acosta - April 12, 2010

Hi, Diana, I read this book way back — found it in the library, and I always remembered it. I thought it was a quite intriguing tale.

Diana McCabe - April 12, 2010

Hi Marta — I’m glad someone mentioned the title on Twitter or I never would have found it! I liked how the author kept the storyline very focused and tight. (And of course loved the ending!) Are you reading any similar novels now? Thanks for stopping by the blog!


Lisa Champ - April 14, 2010

This looked really interesting, so I bought it “like new” on amazon for .01. Even with shipping it was much less than trying to buy it new at a bookstore. I look forward to reading it. Thanks for the recommendation.

2. Diana McCabe - April 15, 2010

Hey Lisa — Lemme know what you think. It was a fast read for me. And it was low-key in a nice way. Just made you think bc it was so subtle!


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