In 1966, two years after Will Cohu was born, his grandparents moved to Bramble Carr, a remote cottage on the Yorkshire moors. To a child spending his summers and winters there, the moors were full of freedom and light; only later would he become aware of the price the adults had paid for life in this most romantic of settings: the frustration and isolation that gnawed away, even as the beauty enchanted.
Navigating tempestuous family relationships, heartache and the trials of growing up, Will introduces us to the world of his childhood and a gallery of characters from his family and the close-knit Yorkshire community. Here are shepherds and farmers, Bob Robinson, patrician doctor and obsessive antiquarian; John Kenney, landlord of the village pub and hoarder of military memorabilia; Will's glamorous Royal Air Force parents who take their young family to Naples to live in the shadow of a volcano and run amok in the dusty streets. At the centre of the story are the beloved but enigmatic figures of his grandparents, George and Dorothy: talented children of the old working classes, searching for a home in a changing modern world.
The Wolf Pit depicts a rural Britain that is passionate, funny and frightening, where the idyll is sometimes shot through with drink, disappointment and the black dog of self-destruction. The story moves from head-high snowdrifts and sledging adventures at Bramble Carr to the emptiness of the Australian outback, where Will's uncle Robert, a bear of a man but frail as a moth, slips from the embrace of his brother to die the loneliest death a man can have.
Exquisitely written, and flecked with sharp wit and tender insight, The Wolf Pit is an enquiring love letter from Will Cohu to his family, and a moving account of our struggle against the elements without and within.