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Annie and the Wolves

Andromeda Romano-Lax

Hardcover

List Price: 27.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (2/1/2021)
Paperback (1/18/2022)

Description

A modern-day historian finds her life intertwined with Annie Oakley's in an electrifying novel that explores female revenge and the allure of changing one's past.

Ruth McClintock is obsessed with Annie Oakley. For nearly a decade, she has been studying the legendary sharpshooter, convinced that a scarring childhood event was the impetus for her crusade to arm every woman in America. This search has cost Ruth her doctorate, a book deal, and her fiancé—but finally it has borne fruit. She has managed to hunt down what may be a journal of Oakley’s midlife struggles, including secret visits to a psychoanalyst and the desire for vengeance against the “Wolves,” or those who have wronged her.

With the help of Reece, a tech-savvy senior at the local high school, Ruth attempts to establish the journal’s provenance, but she’s begun to have jarring out-of-body episodes parallel to Annie’s own lived experiences. As she solves Annie’s mysteries, Ruth confronts her own truths, including the link between her teenage sister’s suicide and an impending tragedy in her Minnesota town that Ruth can still prevent.


Praise For Annie and the Wolves

A BuzzFeed Most Anticipated Book of 2021
Reader's Digest 50 Best Fiction Books of 2021
A Booklist Top 10 Historical Fiction Book of 2021

Praise for Annie and the Wolves


“I have long been a fan of Andromeda Romano-Lax’s work, and this is her best novel yet. Separated by more than a century, the lives of American icon Annie Oakley and modern historian Ruth McClintock are intertwined in ways you could never guess. Delving into the human psyche, the novel explores how we navigate time and memory, and how we struggle to heal from trauma both historically and on a deeply personal level. Are justice and revenge the answer? Or can we dare to hope to change the past? When this story grabs hold of you, and it will, there will be no setting it down until you’ve finished the last page. A morally complex, genre-shattering thriller.”
—Eowyn Ivey, New York Times bestselling author of To the Bright Edge of the World and the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Snow Child 

“Themes of vengeance, justice, long-buried secrets, and impending doom are woven through this engaging tale of strong, resourceful women.”
Reader's Digest

“On its most powerful level, the book is a hyperactive psychological thriller, exploring the enduring damage done by childhood trauma and the need to mine and process it to become healthy, and the various ways in which victims do so . . . A highly imaginative and compelling read.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune 

“The introduction of the time travel is so adeptly written that the idea of this kind of element doesn’t seem out of the ordinary . . . the book reads like literary or historical fiction, even though many different current topics are addressed within its pages, like school violence, suicide and sexual abuse.” 
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“A sharp, inventive story of perseverance.”
—BuzzFeed Books

“This unique novel touches on women who excel in a traditionally male-dominated world, but must continue to grapple with its absurd contradictions about female roles in society.”
Tahlequah Daily Press

“I’ve always held a special place in my heart for Annie Oakley, and Andromeda Romano-Lax has forever transformed my vision of the famous sharpshooter in such a fresh, deep, moving way. I love how this novel plays with the malleability of time—how trauma can alter it, how healing can transcend it, how human connection can enrich it immeasurably. Time disappeared as I read Annie and the Wolves—a compelling, unforgettable read.”
—Gayle Brandeis, award–winning author of The Book of Dead Birds

Annie and the Wolves intrigued me with its countless twists and turns. It’s a Mobius Strip of history, time travel and complex characters, all masterfully woven into a suspenseful and satisfying ending. Bravo.”
—Kim Heacox, author of Jimmy Bluefeather

“Romano-Lax uses a dual timeline to weave science fiction and historical fiction into one timely, suspenseful, and complicated tale . . . [T]he book addresses many topics and themes, some disturbing—abuse, mental illness, suicide, the human psyche, revenge, and memory among them—but it never feels heavy.”
—Literary Mama 

“Romano-Lax’s brilliantly conceived characters, delicate exploration of abuse and childhood trauma, and examination of vengeance and its power to heal will entrance from the very first page. Her latest is a tour de force that will appeal to a wide variety of readers.”
Library Journal, Starred Review

“Daring and imaginative Romano-Lax puts another provocative spin on historical fiction as she has both Ruth McClintock, a struggling small-town Minnesota historian,and her obsession, sharpshooter Annie Oakley, take turns narrating in this highly original time-warping tale . . . As she illuminates Oakley’s extraordinary life, Romano-Lax conjures supernatural dimensions in pursuit of psychological revelations, grapples with the sexual predation of “wolves” and the muzzle of shame, and dramatizes the slipperiness of memory and history, creating a compassionate, heady, and witty whirl of fact and insight, mesmerizing characters and suspenseful predicaments.”
Booklist, Starred Review 

“Romano-Lax writes with an easy verisimilitude, even when things turn decidedly strange. But it’s not simply strangeness for the sake of itself. The time-skipping mechanism allows for a deeply felt exploration of the lingering costs of trauma, the nature of history, the limited malleability of the past, and the importance of community and relationships, particularly when it comes to present trauma and its potential to spin out into further acts of violence . . . It’s rare to be genuinely surprised by a novel: Annie and the Wolves is a treasure.”
Quill & Quire, Starred Review 

“With Annie and the Wolves, Romano-Lax has authored a reckoning tale for the historical traumas that still shape America today . . . Annie and the Wolves is a remarkable feat of plotting in that it braids together heavy subject matter Oakley’s biography, the history of psychoanalysis, sexual abuse, gun culture, and, yes, time travel, without becoming convoluted or pedantic. Romano-Lax so skillfully navigates parallel storylines and multiple perspectives that, even at just over four hundred pages, this work of speculative literary fiction, like time, flies by.”
Cleveland Review of Books

Annie and the Wolves’s primary appeal stems from its inability to be pegged into a single genre. Part historical fiction (Annie Oakley), part science fiction (time travel), and part literary fiction (a struggling modern-day historian), this book tackles abuse, secrets, and revenge. A fascinating story that leaves readers wondering how much our actions can influence the future.”
—Beth Shapiro, Skylark Bookshop (Columbia, MO)

“An engrossing work of speculative fiction featuring a time-traveling Annie Oakley . . . Romano-Lax neatly weaves the parallel narratives of Oakley and Ruth, and juggles various literary devices and genres with aplomb. The dual storylines dovetail perfectly for a winning anthem of female power sustained across a century.”
Publishers Weekly

Praise for Andromeda Romano-Lax  

“Riveting.”
People Magazine
 
“Will keep you mesmerized to the last page.”
Christian Science Monitor
 
“Shocking and thought-provoking . . . The intimate struggles of a woman weighing her value, utility, and satisfaction both within and outside the home certainly resonate today.”
The Boston Globe
 
“An engaging read which will not only entertain you but also teach you a great deal about these giants in the history of psychology, and the ethics of those times, which we now see as abhorrent.”
Psychology Today

Soho Press, 9781641291699, 408pp.

Publication Date: February 2, 2021



About the Author

Andromeda Romano-Lax is the author of The Spanish Bow, a New York Times Editors’ Choice that has been translated into 11 languages; The Detour; Behave; and Plum Rains, which won the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic, as well as numerous works of nonfiction. She is a co-founder of 49 Writers, a statewide literary organization in Alaska, and lives on a small island in British Columbia.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

1. In this novel, which combines an accurate historical foundation with an undeniably fantastical plot, time travel is key. Why do you think the author added this element, and how does time travel as a trope relate to issues like trauma and memory?


2. How does this version of Annie Oakley compare with what you knew about the American icon before, whether from Hollywood movies, musicals like “Annie Get Your Gun,” or other popular sources? Why do you think characterizations of Annie Oakley have varied so much over the last century?


3. Some historical tragedies are more easily popularized than others. As Ruth and Joe Grandlouis discuss, the Holocaust is frequently depicted in movies and novels, while other tragedies—including ones closer to home—remain off the public radar. Do we turn toward some difficult public subjects and away from others for predictable reasons?


4. Reece and Ruth bond quickly. What do you think each one gets from the other, and why—aside from any supernatural connection—do they work well together?


5. Ruth’s love life is a mess. Which of her romantic relationships were you rooting for, if either? What were some of the biggest differences between Scott’s and Joe’s attitudes or personalities during times of crisis?


6. One of the most famous time travel stories, by H.G. Wells, was published in 1895. Around the world during this same decade, standardized time zones were being imposed. What connections do you draw between new ideas about time, fascination with time travel, the development of “talk therapy,” and concerns about mental health in this time period?


7. Is there something you’d change about your past, if you could? If you could return to one particular day and re-live it, which day would that be?


8. Psychologists claim that the fantasies of revenge are nearly universal—yet rarely acted upon—in western culture. What does “vengeance” mean to you? Do you believe that imagining vengeance has the power to heal or do you think it’s harmful?


9. The issue of gun control, as well as the historic role of guns in American society, becomes critical as the story progresses. Characters bring differing perspectives to the table. Did any of the events or opinions resonate or conflict with your own views? Would Annie’s 19th century views be in step, or out of step, with contemporary attitudes and priorities?


10. The novel is a braid of two historical timelines, a structure also used in Romano-Lax’s Plum Rains, as well as many other novels, from A.S. Byatt’s Possession to Erika Swyler’s The Book of Speculation. Have you read other books that adopt this structure for particular thematic reasons? What challenges and opportunities does it pose for the reader?