A NO. 1 INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
One of the most anticipated books of the summer for Time, Harper's Bazaar, Bustle and Publishers Weekly
'Deftly written, gripping and informative. Empire of Wild is a rip-roaring read!'
'Empire of Wild is doing everything I love in a contemporary novel and more. It is tough, funny, beautiful, honest and propulsive'
Tommy Orange, author of There There
'Dimaline turns an old story into something newly haunting and resonant'
New York Times
'An utterly compelling blend of propulsive narrative, starkly beautiful writing and passionate, near dysfunctional love'
Broken-hearted Joan has been searching for her husband, Victor, for almost a year - ever since he went missing on the night they had their first serious argument. One hung-over morning in a Walmart parking lot in a little town near Georgian Bay, she is drawn to a revival tent where the local Métis have been flocking to hear a charismatic preacher. By the time she staggers into the tent the service is over, but as she is about to leave, she hears an unmistakable voice.
She turns, and there is Victor. Only he insists he is not Victor, but the Reverend Eugene Wolff, on a mission to bring his people to Jesus.
With only two allies - her Johnny-Cash-loving, 12-year-old nephew Zeus, and Ajean, a foul-mouthed euchre shark with deep knowledge of the old Métis ways - Joan sets out to remind the Reverend Wolff of who he really is. If he really is Victor, his life and the life of everyone she loves, depends upon her success.
Dimaline's inventive, passionate quest narrative (after her YA novel The Marrow Thieves) draws on the M tis myth of a werewolflike creature known as Rogarou. In the predominantly Catholic First Nations community of Arcand, Ontario, tales of the Rogarou haunt the town's inhabitants ("Broke Lent? The rogarou will come for you"). After Joan Beausoleil argues one night with her husband, Victor, over whether she should sell her ancestral land, Victor walks out and never comes back, and Joan spends nearly a year searching for him. Dimaline wrenchingly describes Joan's rabid determination, and conveys the passion of their early relationship. Just as Joan is about to give up hope, she recognizes Victor in a revival tent at a WalMart parking lot, but he claims not to know her and to be Rev. Eugene Wolff. Shocked and angry at being told that she's mistaken, Joan sets out to discover what happened to him. Aided by her 12-year-old nephew and an elder who convinces Joan that Victor is under the spell of the Rogarou, Joan tracks the beast in search of answers. The novel is at times sad, at times humorous, and at times terrifying. Smartly written with believable characters, a tight plot, and breathtaking sentences, this is a must-read literary thriller.