Reviews for Annie and the wolves

Library Journal
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Ruth McClintock has been obsessed with sharpshooter Annie Oakley for most of her life. She has sacrificed much to become an Oakley scholar, but it all might be worth it when she receives a journal in the mail from a mysterious book dealer with a request for provenance and authentication. Ruth little dreams that researching the journal will plunge her into a search through her own past and a confrontation of demons from long ago. It will also lead to a special partnership with high school senior Reece, a tech whiz with whom she apparently shares a psychic connection. As Ruth delves into the journal and Annie's attempts to travel back in time to right an old wrong, she explores her own psychic abilities to nearly disastrous consequences. VERDICT Romano-Lax's (Plum Rains) 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,—Cynthia Johnson, formerly with Cary Memorial Lib., Lexington, MA

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Daring and imaginative Romano-Lax (Plum Rains, 2018) 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. Ruth was working on a book about Oakley until a car crash leaves her with a brain injury, a trauma echoing the train wreck that changed everything for Annie. In spite of falling into inexplicable trances and breaking up with her fiancÚ, Ruth persists in searching for evidence of the sexual abuse she believes young Annie endured, which catalyzed her mission to help women defend themselves. When Ruth receives an old journal that seems to document Annie’s work with a psychoanalyst in Vienna, she also acquires an unexpected ally, Reece, a tech-smart, sensitive, briefly suicidal senior at the high school where Ruth’s ex-fiancÚ teaches, and their bond pulls in Caleb, another deeply troubled student who discovers the tragic truth about the death of Ruth’s sister. 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..

Publishers Weekly
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Romano-Lax follows Plum Rains with an engrossing work of speculative fiction featuring a time-traveling Annie Oakley. Failed doctoral candidate Ruth McClintock is working to prove her theory that Oakley was sexually abused by a man Oakley’s parents sent her to work for as a child. Aided in her research by high school student Reece, Ruth discovers her neighbor, a cheerleading coach at the school, has been raping students, making him a modern-day “Wolf”—Oakley’s name for predatory men. As Ruth learns more about Oakley’s life, she uncovers Oakley’s secret visits to a psychoanalyst, which are informed by chapters following Oakley through various points around the turn of the century. Along the way, Ruth discovers that she and Reece share an ability held by Oakley to travel in time through memory, and that Ruth is clairvoyant. Ruth then tries to prevent the death of her ex-fiancÚ, Scott, in a car crash, and to go back in time to prevent her sister from killing herself. 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. (Feb.)