The Wolves of Andover
  • The Wolves of Andover
  • The Wolves of Andover

The Wolves of Andover

3.7 47
by Kathleen Kent

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In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the

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In the harsh wilderness of colonial Massachusetts, Martha Allen works as a servant in her cousin's household, taking charge and locking wills with everyone. Thomas Carrier labors for the family and is known both for his immense strength and size and mysterious past. The two begin a courtship that suits their independent natures, with Thomas slowly revealing the story of his part in the English Civil War. But in the rugged new world they inhabit, danger is ever present, whether it be from the assassins sent from London to kill the executioner of Charles I or the wolves-in many forms-who hunt for blood. A love story and a tale of courage, The Wolves of Andover confirms Kathleen Kent's ability to craft powerful stories of family from colonial history.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Kent doesn't disappoint in this prequel to The Heretic's Daughter, taking readers back to Massachusetts before the Salem witch trials as strong-willed 23-year-old Martha Allen falls in love with strong-armed hired hand Thomas Carrier. Rumor has it that Thomas, while living in England under another name, played a role in the execution of King Charles I. Now both he and Martha work for Martha's cousin on her farm and are brought together with a little help from the wolves stalking the farm. But after Thomas saves Martha from a wolf attack, he discovers wild animals are not the only dangers lurking in the Massachusetts woods: assassins have arrived from London to capture Charles I's executioner, said to be living outside Boston under an assumed name. Kent weaves in references to her first novel while creating an immersive stand-alone where Old World corruption clashes with New World opportunity; London bustles as civilization is carved out of the Massachusetts wilderness; and colonial self-reliance contrasts with dealing for favors in Restoration England. Kent brings colonial America to life by poking into its dark corners and finding its emotional and personal underpinnings. (Nov.)
Library Journal
In coastal Massachusetts in 1673, wolves still lurked in the shadows, and farmers toiled to keep the forest at bay. Martha Allen is sent to such a farm to help her cousin who's in the final months of her pregnancy. Sharp-tongued and independent, Martha finds life difficult no matter where she is and considers her cousin Patience to be spoiled and soft and the hired men impudent. As Martha becomes accustomed to life in Billerica, she forms a tenuous friendship with Thomas Carrier, a hired man of enormous size and few words. As they forge ahead in their relationship, hired assassins from London are on their way to assassinate the men who executed Charles II during the English civil war. Who will succeed and who will die? VERDICT In this prequel to Kent's best-selling The Heretic's Daughter—a retelling of her ancestor's execution during the Salem witch trials—the author combines harsh images of early Colonial life with a well-paced story and careful details. The result is a taut narrative that will satisfy historical fiction lovers. [Barbara Hoffert's Fiction Pick, Prepub Alert, LJ 8/10; on Saturday, Nov. 6, the publisher and Kent are inviting descendants of the Carrier family and other families associated with the witch trials as well as history buffs to a Carrier family reunion in Salem, MA.—Ed.]—Anna Karras Nelson, Collier Cty. P.L., Naples, FL
Kirkus Reviews

In this prequel to The Heretic's Daughter(2008), Kent tells the fictionalized story of her ancestor Martha Carrier's courtship with her future husband years before she became a victim of the Salem Witch Trials.

In 1673, Martha's father sends her to help her pregnant cousin Patience, whose husband Daniel is often away from the family's farm near Andover. He's also hoping she'll find a proper suitor among the local clergy. Instead she's drawn to one of the two indentured hired men on the farm. An unusually tall Welshman approaching 50, Thomas Carrier carries himself with an air of mystery and authority that intrigues Martha despite herself, especially after he kills the wolves menacing the farm. Those wolves, which Martha dangerously approaches before Thomas shoots them, resemble the band of assassins sent to Massachusetts from London by a minion of King Charles II, who wants to avenge the death of his father, the Catholic Charles I killed by Cromwell. The book cuts between Martha's growing relationship with Thomas and the assassins' ill-fated mission as the killers drop off one by one, victims of double-cross, drowning, poison and warring Indians. Martha soon learns that Thomas served as the King's guard as a youth before joining Cromwell's cause. He was indeed the one who brought the ax down on Charles I's head, but he later lost faith in Cromwell when he saw him becoming a despot. As the surviving assassin draws closer, Martha—who has her own secret—fears she has inadvertently betrayed Thomas's secret when Patience finds the diary in which Martha wrote down his story. But Daniel, like most of his neighbors, is a staunch defender of Protestantism. For all his evil, diabolic planning, the assassin never has a chance.

Kent has more fun with the Londoners—Johnny Depp could play almost any of the baddies—than her somewhat morose ancestors, but she lovingly captures their daily grind and brings looming dangers, whether man or beast, to harrowing life.

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Product Details

Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.20(d)


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The Wolves of Andover: A Novel 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 48 reviews.
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Sometimes in a man's life he must be willing to stand up against what he knows is wrong even if it means he will stand alone. In the novel, The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent, you are taken back to the 1600's to the reign of King Charles I and the Cromwell's. However some of the kings back handed dealings are appealing to those that were once loyal to the crown no matter the cost. Cromwell is about to see to it that he can locate men willing to go against the crown and put King Charles I to trial. If he is found guilty the punishment is beheading. Martha Allen is a woman that believes that she should marry for love and not because of a certain age with any willing man. Yet her father is growing tired of her reluctance to find a husband and sends her to aid her cousin Patience with her child bearing as her times grows close and help around the home while her husband Daniel travels out of town to trade for goods and food. Martha believes in taking charge even if that means making men feeling uncomfortable. John and Thomas are both hired men that work for Patience and Daniel with the promise of a plot of land for their service. When the threat of wolves looms over the town, a bounty is promised for whomever can kill the wolf and it's mate. Yet what Martha sees in the quietness of Thomas and his strength is what draws her near to get to know him more. Yet Thomas may be hiding more that just secrets from everyone. I received this wonderful book from Hachette Book Groups for my honest review and must say aside from a slow beginning in understanding the characters and two different stories, give it time and the book will reward you with a very interesting turn of events that will keep you glued to the end. I would rate this one a 5 out of 5 stars. This book is available in hardcover, paperback, large print, eBook, and CD formats.
Meg-ABookishAffair More than 1 year ago
I actually did not realize that this was a prequel to Kathleen Kent's The Heretic's Daughter, a book that I read a couple years ago. I thought this was a great standalone book and if you didn't know otherwise, you wouldn't realize that there was a connection between the two books until the very end of the book. You may even want to read this book before you read The Heretic's Daughter if you haven't read it already. I really liked the story that took place in Massachusetts rather than the story on the boat. I thought the characters of Martha and Thomas and Martha's cousin's family were much more engaging than the men chasing after Thomas (they seem to do a lot of waiting and talking and that's about it). I thought that Martha was a really interesting character. At her relatively young age, she's already sort of is a old maid and she goes to her cousin's family to basically try to find a husband. In a way, I almost enjoyed this book much more than The Heretic's Daughter. Thomas' story is incredibly interesting and really opened a new part of history for me. I also liked the picture of the small settlement that the characters lived in. I really thought you got a really good picture of how the early American settlers lived and some of the dangers that they faced. Bottom line: This is a great historical fiction read.
NatalieTahoe More than 1 year ago
Kent's second book, The Wolves of Andover, takes place well before the fateful events of the Salem Witch Trial. It's the story of how Martha and Thomas Carrier met and the relationship that ultimately secured their friendship and loyalty to each other. But this is also about Thomas and the rumors whirling about him. As a Welshman and member of the Royal Guard of the King of England when he was younger, he is rumored to be the executioner of Charles I, and there is a bounty on his head. The colonies are known to have kept quiet the whereabouts of those who contributed to the rebellion against the king, those who followed Oliver Cromwell on the battlefields. But will the town remain quiet when the four thugs who are hired in London make the dangerous journey across the Atlantic to hunt down Thomas? Part of the reason why I love Kathleen Kent's books so much is that her work is unbelievably polished. Her scenes are as pure and true to how one might write and read in the 17th century, without losing any sense of its "readability" in our modern times.
Avid4books More than 1 year ago
In a word, Dreadful. If you enjoy a period novel with paragraphs full of spit, snot, vomit, viscera, entrails, and whores, this is the book for you. If not, you'll put it down like I did, after three slow, awful chapters. Not sure if the author is going for shock value, or if she believes this is how people spoke back in the 1600's.
NovelChatter More than 1 year ago
It's 1692 and the United States as we know it does not exist. We were still a group of colonies and young Martha Allen had just arrived at her cousin's home in Billerica, Massachusetts. Martha is not a guest. She's expected to help her cousin Patience through her pregnancy and also do the work of a servant around the house and the farm. Nineteen-year-old Martha is strong willed and has a sharp tongue, and will soon be an "old maid." She knows only too well the fate awaits a single woman with no place to call her own. Also working on the property is Thomas Carrier, a man rumored to be a regicide hiding in plain site in Billerica. Thomas fits the physical description of supposed executioner of Charles I. In Kathleen Kent's second book, The Wolves of Andover, we meet the young Martha whose later life story was told to us in Kent's first book, The Heretic's Daughter, which follows Martha as she stood trial at the Salem witch hunts. Author Kathleen Kent is a direct descendant of the real life Martha Allen Carrier and I believe she does her family well. These books are technically described as historical fiction, however I think that is a disservice to Kent's work. She tells a story that pays homage not only to Kent's nine times great grand-mother, Martha, but also to all of our ancestors who lived in those dangerous times and places. They knew no modern conveniences and considered surviving a tough winter or childbirth to be good fortune. The book's title, The Wolves of Andover, not only refers to the wild wolves that circle the settlements to stalk and prey on whatever they can kill, but to the wolves who walk on two feet who also stalk their unfortunate prey. Told against the background of the wilderness of "new" England, Kent spins a very readable tale of survival of the fittest, survival of the smartest, and survival of those who will not be beaten. I highly recommend The Wolves of Andover! I encourage you to get past the idea that you don't like historical fiction. This book won't disappoint. The story of Martha Allen and Thomas Carrier is in many ways the same struggle men and women face with today: how to find a place in the world in which to be happy and safe. I loved this book and these people. If I gave a star rating, I'd give this book a very strong 4 ½ stars. Source: This book was provided to me by the publisher at my request and in no way affected by review.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, while both worked on her cousin's farm, twenty-three years old Martha Allen falls in love with hired hand Thomas Carrier. However, she also hears the rumor that circulates about Thomas fleeing England after playing a major role in the beheading of King Charles I. Thomas saves Martha's life when wolves who stalk the farm attack her. He also learns that kidnappers have crossed the pond preferably to capture and take back to London for public trial or execute the man who killed the former monarch. These outsiders hear the rumors about Thomas living on the coast north of Boston. Although those who have read The Heretic's Daughter knows what will happen to Martha, Kathleen Kent demonstrates her skill as a great author by engaging the full attention throughout of her fans (and newcomers) in the superb prequel. The story line is action packed as the conflict between people entrenched in the Restoration come across as the status quo and those adapting to a new world order carved in a wilderness makes for a strong historical that looks deep at the darker roots of Colonial America. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a prequel to "The Heretic's Daughter."  Although I enjoyed "The Heretic's Daughter" more, this was still a good read, and it was nice to get some background on the parents from the original book.
marilynrhea1 More than 1 year ago
I usually love colonial period novels. This novel just did not do a thing for me. I thought it was draggy, and often a little boring. I like some of Kathleen Kent's other books, so I guess this one was just an anomaly for me. I can't really recommend it, as I just did not enjoy reading it at all. I did finish it, and I can't say that I changed my mind about the book once I knew the ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this novel - it made me feel like I could see, smell and taste Colonial America. I thought about the characters whenever I wasn't able to read! I highly recommend!
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OHARADN More than 1 year ago
Absolutly fabulous!!! Highly recommend!!! Please see my full recommendation under the title "The Traitor's Wife"
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historybugLH More than 1 year ago
Kent does it again. I love good historical fiction. Like Heretic's Daughter, Kent takes you back to colonial New England to explore her family stories. I like the way she develops her characters by throwing them in to the emtional vortex of the time. It make me wonder what my ancestors had to endure to get me to the 21st century. go girl!
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