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A moving historical tale and remarkable literary achievement, City Wolves is the story of Canada's first woman veterinarian, Meg Wilkinson. Born in 1870 on a farm near Halifax, Meg's childhood experience with wolves makes her determined to be a veterinarian. Supported by the seemingly eccentric Randolph Oliphant and inspired by the ancient Inuit who first turned wolves int A moving historical tale and remarkable literary achievement, City Wolves is the story of Canada's first woman veterinarian, Meg Wilkinson. Born in 1870 on a farm near Halifax, Meg's childhood experience with wolves makes her determined to be a veterinarian. Supported by the seemingly eccentric Randolph Oliphant and inspired by the ancient Inuit who first turned wolves into sled dogs, Meg surpasses the horse doctors at vet college and becomes the notorious 'dog doctor of Halifax' in the 1890s. After her unusual marriage ends abruptly in Boston, Meg travels to Vancouver and up to the Yukon, seeking the legendary sled dogs. Arriving at the beginning of the Klondike gold rush, she makes her way amidst Mounties, dance hall girls, Klondike Kings, mushers, priests and swindlers...all the mangy and magnificent people, dogs and spirits that populated raucous Dawson City. Observed through the restless spirit of Inuit Ike, this is lively, insightful, historical fiction, subtly revealing the wolf-like nature of humans and the human nature of wolves. Both earthy and reflective, City Wolves is an important story told with compassion, humour and unflinching realism. In this her fifth novel, Dorris Heffron has created a wide range of unforgettable characters and achieved a breadth of vision exploring the deep conflicts and interconnection of social beings in a way that is uniquely Canadian and profoundly universal.


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A moving historical tale and remarkable literary achievement, City Wolves is the story of Canada's first woman veterinarian, Meg Wilkinson. Born in 1870 on a farm near Halifax, Meg's childhood experience with wolves makes her determined to be a veterinarian. Supported by the seemingly eccentric Randolph Oliphant and inspired by the ancient Inuit who first turned wolves int A moving historical tale and remarkable literary achievement, City Wolves is the story of Canada's first woman veterinarian, Meg Wilkinson. Born in 1870 on a farm near Halifax, Meg's childhood experience with wolves makes her determined to be a veterinarian. Supported by the seemingly eccentric Randolph Oliphant and inspired by the ancient Inuit who first turned wolves into sled dogs, Meg surpasses the horse doctors at vet college and becomes the notorious 'dog doctor of Halifax' in the 1890s. After her unusual marriage ends abruptly in Boston, Meg travels to Vancouver and up to the Yukon, seeking the legendary sled dogs. Arriving at the beginning of the Klondike gold rush, she makes her way amidst Mounties, dance hall girls, Klondike Kings, mushers, priests and swindlers...all the mangy and magnificent people, dogs and spirits that populated raucous Dawson City. Observed through the restless spirit of Inuit Ike, this is lively, insightful, historical fiction, subtly revealing the wolf-like nature of humans and the human nature of wolves. Both earthy and reflective, City Wolves is an important story told with compassion, humour and unflinching realism. In this her fifth novel, Dorris Heffron has created a wide range of unforgettable characters and achieved a breadth of vision exploring the deep conflicts and interconnection of social beings in a way that is uniquely Canadian and profoundly universal.

30 review for City Wolves: Historical Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    Erika

    City Wolves follows Meg Wilkinson as she leaves home and tragedy in Nova Scotia for the rough and wild territory of the Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Meg's trailblazing tendency, both literal and figurative, leads her to become the first female veterinarian in Canada. Meg discovers men and women of all kinds who prove there is no mold for human beings. She falls in love with the independent, spirited sled dogs of the north whose history was inspiration for her veterinary studies. Meg's City Wolves follows Meg Wilkinson as she leaves home and tragedy in Nova Scotia for the rough and wild territory of the Yukon during the Gold Rush of the 1890s. Meg's trailblazing tendency, both literal and figurative, leads her to become the first female veterinarian in Canada. Meg discovers men and women of all kinds who prove there is no mold for human beings. She falls in love with the independent, spirited sled dogs of the north whose history was inspiration for her veterinary studies. Meg's story is laced with the Inuit tale of Ike and Piji, an ancient couple of the Malamute tribe who raise wolf pups as children. It's a beautiful picture of the variety of the human race and the importance of that unique mix. The read is easy, and the digestion lasts long after the pages are turned. The real-life aspect of the story makes it a compelling and authentic tale.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    I was given this (signed) book as a gift, or I don't know if I'd ever pick it up, never hearing of the author before. In the mere chapters I have gone through, I am completely captivated and so excited to read more! * * * I didn't want this fantastic tale to end. Dorris Heffron mixes just the right amount of fiction with history in a way that makes you feel right in the centre of the Klondike rush. Her words jump out of the pages in such colourful, creative language. What a superb read! I was given this (signed) book as a gift, or I don't know if I'd ever pick it up, never hearing of the author before. In the mere chapters I have gone through, I am completely captivated and so excited to read more! * * * I didn't want this fantastic tale to end. Dorris Heffron mixes just the right amount of fiction with history in a way that makes you feel right in the centre of the Klondike rush. Her words jump out of the pages in such colourful, creative language. What a superb read!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nelle

    (no spoilers here!) i absolutely loved this book. The writing is beautiful but doesn't waste time. Theres something for everyone in this book. Aspects of every genre can be found in this story, history, romance, mystery, thriller, and some well placed comedy. It was so inspirational and i fell in love with all the characters. I feel like this story has really changed my life. (no spoilers here!) i absolutely loved this book. The writing is beautiful but doesn't waste time. Theres something for everyone in this book. Aspects of every genre can be found in this story, history, romance, mystery, thriller, and some well placed comedy. It was so inspirational and i fell in love with all the characters. I feel like this story has really changed my life.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mikayla

    My social studies teacher read this to my class throughout grade seven and eight... We never finished it but it was a pleasant memory.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Michele

    An uplifting story recounting the struggles of a young Canadian woman who became a professional in a field where no woman had gone before at the end of the nineteenth century. Not drawn to the traditional role of women, to achieve her goal, she simply plowed ahead and took on whatever reasonable task was necessary. She was not afraid of "breaking the mold" to learn new things and didn't much care about prudish opinions. Not stopping there, it is even more refreshing to see how boldly she opens u An uplifting story recounting the struggles of a young Canadian woman who became a professional in a field where no woman had gone before at the end of the nineteenth century. Not drawn to the traditional role of women, to achieve her goal, she simply plowed ahead and took on whatever reasonable task was necessary. She was not afraid of "breaking the mold" to learn new things and didn't much care about prudish opinions. Not stopping there, it is even more refreshing to see how boldly she opens up on profession, and then crosses the North American continent to take it one step farther!! A story that describes many successful women, I believe.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Beck

    City Wolves is an amazing book about Meg Wilkinson, the first Canadian veterinarian. It is about how Meg's childhood experiences with wolves led her to strive to be a veterinarian all through her life. In this book there are some twists and turns but eventually she ends up doing what she always wanted to do, be a veterinarian. This book was very interesting and I think that it was a very good book. City Wolves is an amazing book about Meg Wilkinson, the first Canadian veterinarian. It is about how Meg's childhood experiences with wolves led her to strive to be a veterinarian all through her life. In this book there are some twists and turns but eventually she ends up doing what she always wanted to do, be a veterinarian. This book was very interesting and I think that it was a very good book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Helene Mousseau

    Awesome story! Historical fiction of the first woman veterinarian. Her life and journeys takes you on many interesting twists and turns and gives you glimpses of how things were back then. Love the Ike and Piji characters who observe, comment and encourage from the past. Hard to put down. Available on a number of sites and mediums. Now to find some of her other books to read...

  8. 5 out of 5

    June

    historical fiction; Canadian girl living in Halifax want to become a vet; girl moves to Dawson City to become a "dog doctor". The story reads too much like a history book; if you were not familiar with the history of the area--the book might would probably be more interesting; might bump it up to a four. I found it dry in places. historical fiction; Canadian girl living in Halifax want to become a vet; girl moves to Dawson City to become a "dog doctor". The story reads too much like a history book; if you were not familiar with the history of the area--the book might would probably be more interesting; might bump it up to a four. I found it dry in places.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alice Grillo

    Beautiful journey with a single-minded woman and her dogs Love historical fiction, taking me to a different time and place. The story was well written with well developed characters. I liked the interplay of human family and wolf characteristics.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Wells

    One book, reads like a mini series Really interesting stories woven into one great book. Enjoyed the absence of sex that so many books geared to women unnecessarily weave into otherwise well developed characters.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Susan Greiner

    I liked this book. It has a strong female protagonist, wolves, and excellent history, especially concerning the Klondike gold rush; all things I like! I felt like I was there in Alaska. Having the Eskimo spirits as observers was a creative touch, too. Very enjoyable read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rita

    Inte alls min genre. Länge sedan jag läste historical fiction. Men riktigt intressant och jag gillade karaktärerna. Egentligen kanske en stark trea.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    Fantastic adventure. Loved the characters and story. Great for dog lovers and lovers of historical fiction.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Gini

    I really enjoyed this book all the way up to the end which then seemed rushed and finished rather than rounded out.

  15. 4 out of 5

    KT

  16. 4 out of 5

    Venita

  17. 4 out of 5

    Gale Spencer

  18. 5 out of 5

    WasaHunk

  19. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

  20. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Reed

  21. 5 out of 5

    Maria

  22. 5 out of 5

    Joe

  23. 4 out of 5

    Victoria

  24. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  25. 5 out of 5

    Barb Thompson

  26. 4 out of 5

    Connie Scharping

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jane Weeks

  28. 4 out of 5

    Asma

  29. 5 out of 5

    Corneli

  30. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Renner

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