The first book I read by Nicholas Evans was The Horse Whisperer as my sister is horse mad and therefore had it on her shelf for me to pinch and read. I enjoyed that but it didn’t leave me wanting more of his writing until I spotted another title on my sister’s shelf: The Loop. Admittedly it wasn’t actually the title that caught my eye, but the wolves on the cover. I can’t resist a wolf.
The characters in The Loop inspired me. From the day I immersed myself in its narrative, I wanted to travel to America after college and study to become a Wolf Biologist like one of the main characters. I wanted to go out and do something to help learn more about and protect my very favourite animal in the world – and The Loop made me realise it was an actual possibility. (Clearly I never actually followed this path, but it remains a regular day-dream nonetheless.)
A very adult novel, The Loop was not an easy read – it covers the violence and high-emotions that run in places where wolves and humans have to live together alongside the intricacies of adult relationships and the strain a feuding family can have on them.
It is a real rollercoaster of emotion that immerses you in the Rocky Mountains and shows you the good and the bad sides of life so close to ‘the Wild’.
I returned my sister’s copy but desperately wanted a copy of my own to live on my bookshelf so I was really happy when I found a hardback copy in my local charity shop for just £1. I was even happier when I got home and looked closer to find it was in fact a signed, first-edition hardback copy! It still had a very sweet wedding anniversary card tucked inside the back cover – it was clearly originally a very special gift. It is now my pride and joy on my shelf but I have kept the card inside the back cover because it felt wrong to throw it away.
Nicholas Evans was one of the first ‘adult’ authors I discovered who wrote non-fantasy stories – I enjoyed The Horse Whisperer, The Loop and The Smoke Jumper and have re-read them a few times but The Loop will always be my favourite.