I feel compelled, before I sleep, to introduce folks who may not know Robert McDiarmid to his 2007 novel House of Wolves. His first novel, and published by a smaller company 'iUniverse', there are a few quirks and inconsistencies that you would expect in a debut book. By far they are not the worst, and by the time you get a few chapters in, quirks and inconsistencies are the furthest thing from your mind.
What is important here is the story... and what a story it is! I had been putting off reading House of Wolves -- I confess -- and it was not the first thing I meant to reach for when heading in for a relaxing, hot bath yesterday. I only intended to read for a few minutes, just long enough to soak some heat into my bones before bed. I emerged from the tub over four hours later, after reading every word. I've done one-sitting readings in the past. I did it with Harry Potter and the Ghostly Hallows I did it with Chaim Potok's The Chosen. I'm not pretending that House of Wolves, as a first novel, falls into this quality of literature. What I am saying, though, is that the story is that captivating.
This is a book about relationships, human inter-being that goes beyond those that most of you are familiar with. The characters in House of Wolves are intriguing and knowable, and while a bit underdeveloped, provide a great medium for introducing new ways of thinking about how people live together. I don't want to go too far with describing what I find to be key features of the story, and in fact, when you read the book, avoid even the cover notes, in favor of the discovery process. Here is enough: most of the characters are men, most are gay, and their lives are intertwined in First Nation legends from the beautifully described Pacific northwest wilderness. There is sexuality, and this is definitely not a book you want to leave around for your kids to find... but then, after reading it, you may want them to understand the story. So, yes, there are some faults with House of Wolves, but this novel is haunting me twenty-four hours later, and I will read it again. More than once. I suggest you do, too.