One of our recommended books is Annie and the Wolves by Andromeda Romano-Lax

ANNIE AND THE WOLVES


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 American woman. This fruitless search has cost Ruth her doctorate, a book deal, and her fiancé. But Ruth may finally have the evidence she is looking for. She has managed to hunt down what may be a journal of Oakley’s midlife struggles,

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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 American woman. This fruitless search has cost Ruth her doctorate, a book deal, and her fiancé. But Ruth may finally have the evidence she is looking for. 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 that are possibly parallel to Annie’s own lived experiences. As she solves Annie’s mysteries, she also confronts her own, from the reasons behind her teenage sister’s suicide to a tragedy in her Minnesota town that she may be able to prevent.

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  • SoHo Press
  • Hardcover
  • February 2021
  • 408 Pages
  • 9781641291699

Buy the Book

$27.95

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About Andromeda Romano-Lax

Andromeda Romano-Lax is the author of Annie and the WolvesAndromeda Romano-Lax is the author of The Spanish Bow, a New York Times Editors’ Choice that has been translated into eleven languages, The DetourBehave, and Plum Rains, as well as numerous works of nonfiction. She teaches creative writing and is a co-founder of 49 Writers, a statewide literary organization. She lives on Vancouver Island.

Praise

“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

“Riveting.” People Magazine

“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

Discussion Questions

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?