“The Wolf Gift” by Anne Rice
Genre: Gothic Fiction
Reuben Golding was tasked by his editor at the San Francisco Observer to write a piece on an old house, a mansion, going up for sale on the Mendocino Coast.
Walking up to the house after a four hour drive from San Francisco, he meets the owner of the house….beautiful, elegant, Marchent Nideck.
Reuben is planning to stay the weekend to learn as much as he can about the house and it’s history, but, he falls in love with the house and decides instantly that he will be the new owner (he comes from a wealthy family and has money in a trust fund that he is able to tap into).
Marchent shows Reuben around the house and tells him about the mysterious disappearance of her beloved Uncle Felix 20 years ago. Not believing he is dead, she has been waiting for his return, but, now she simply has to sell the house.
In the house is a painting of Felix and his compatriots. Reuben is drawn to Felix immediately feeling a strong connection to the “dead” man.
And it is not just the house and painting that Reuben falls in love with. He and Marchent spend the night making love even though Reuben has a fiancee back in the City.
At night, while Reuben is upstairs, Marchent is attacked. Hearing her screams, Reuben rushes to help her, but, is stabbed several times by the two attackers. Marchent is dead, and Reuben is dying, when an unseen beast kills both attackers and accidentally bites Reuben.
In the hospital, Reuben recovers very quickly, and, in fact, is healthier, bigger, and stronger than he was before the attack. And his hair is growing longer. He also hears voices. Voices of people suffering or dying.
One night he cannot take the noises in his head and the restlessness of being cooped up while recovering (the Doctors cannot find out what is happening to him) and he follows his instincts to a voice filled with terror. He changes….into a wolf….attacks the attacker and saves the innocent victim.
Reuben is a wild animal with the soul and mind of a human. A werewolf. A morphenkinder.
“The Wolf Gift” is an absolutely terrific novel….mesmerizing, terrifying, brutal, wonderful. I could not put it down (thus the 5 WaterTowers) and when I had to stop reading, I felt I had to transform back to human form, and travel back to Tracy, CA, before I could do what I had to do.
This is the first time I have read Anne Rice, and since there is a sequel to this book (“The Wolves of Midwinter”), I will read Anne Rice again very very soon.