BOOK CLUB: The Brother’s Wolfe

Click to rate this book!
[Total: 5 Average: 3.8]

The Brothers Wolfe by Australian author Steve Hawke, is a riveting story about dark family secrets and the interweaving of relationships. 

Set mainly in Perth, WA in the 1980s, the storyline features many characters. There are shifting timelines, and multiple perspectives and places. At first, I thought this would get confusing, but each chapter was labelled with the date and location so readers can understand where and when they are. 

Elliot Wolfe is a young man striving for achievement. He is motivated to take advantage of opportunities and indeed, to create opportunities to meet his own needs. He’s exhilarated with making deals that fill his pockets and being surrounded by the ruling class. 

Athol Wolfe is twelve years younger than his brother Elliot and still trying to find his life purpose. 

Not wanting to join the family business, a men’s haberdashery started by his grandfather or follow in his brother’s footsteps, he wants to forge a path of his own. 

The author has created believable characters with human flaws that drive the plot in a slow but steady burn, focusing on family relations and dysfunction. It is his ability to have me going back and forth on how I felt about the brothers that made me enjoy the book; it made everything more real and gritty. 

As the storyline progresses, readers will gain more wisdom and insight contributing to the supporting character’s path in life. I loved Mitzi, Elliot’s French girlfriend and had a picture of what she looked like in my head, she has plenty of sass with big dreams for her future. 

I enjoyed the many aspects of The Brothers Wolfe. The story is beautifully written, insightful, and loaded with twists and turns that grab the reader’s attention. Hawkes’ writing is stellar, his narrative voice compelling, and filled with emotional depth. The Western Australian business trade including real-life characters and places are weaved nicely into the storyline.  

I feel this is ultimately a story about what it means to grow up in search of one’s identity but also freedom and the ability to choose one’s direction regardless of the circumstances. And, to also be aware of your choices as eventually, they will catch up with you. 

The cover is clever. I love the simplicity of the artwork, beautifully paired with hand lettering; it has such a sweeping feel that matches the novel’s epic tale. 

I recommend it for those who like Australian stories with historical elements.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club members are reading The Brothers Wolfe by Steve Hawke. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

5 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Brother’s Wolfe

  1. The Brothers Wolfe by Steve Hawke is a multiple POV book about the Wolfe family, over the span of 20+ years. The story time jumps through the years, with some chapters capturing mere hours, to others capturing years. This book though well written was not to my taste. I had to research the meaning of some words while reading, since they were not ones I had ever heard of.

    The book took a unexpected dive into politics and business in 80s Perth. There were some aspects of the story that could be further explored, that would have peaked my interest further.

    It wasn’t until page 280 that I was truly drawn in, and excited about what I was reading. The characters are all well written, they are multi dimensional, giving you an insight into how they are “more than meets the eye” that some authors aren’t able to capture. A phrase that will stick with me is “prices are paid”

    I was given the opportunity to read this book thanks to Beauty and Lace Magazine.

  2. Thank you for The Brothers Wolfe by Steve Hawke.

    This novel is set in WA, Australia mainly in the 1980’s. It is the story of the Wolfe family, a family business and a family trust, the ties that bind and how everyone deals with it all. Elliot is the eldest son and a go-getter who is always thinking of his next business deal. His much younger brother Athol is not so sure on his next moves in life, but always ends up making some in one way or another. Elliot has an ambitious girlfriend with her own family story. This all makes for an interesting ride.

    At the start there was a lot of setting up the background and even more business jargon. I got a little confused with all this and felt like the book wasn’t going very fast. Once this section was done the book sped along by larger chunks of time and I felt we got to know more about the characters and they really became three dimensional. Then I couldn’t stop reading to find out what was going to happen next and who would get a happy ending. The book was interesting in that it was true to life with not everything going as planned and people finding out more about each other throughout their lives. I enjoyed the story and the fact that people can change their paths to a degree and would recommend, especially for those with an interest in business and/or family relations.

  3. Thank you for the opportunity to read The Brothers Wolfe by Steve Hawke.

    I found much of the book a little confusing with its accounts of underhand business dealings and get rich quick schemes. It’s not a world I know much about and it didn’t really hold my attention. What kept me going was the familiarity of the setting and memories of the WA of the 80’s and 90’s.

    The last section of the book captured my interest as the book changed its tone and became much more about the effects on the family, with much less mention of the power players. The well written emotions gave a much better feel for the characters and the bigger jumps in time helped in seeing characters grow.

    The last chapter still has me wondering how everything turned out, I can only hope well.

    I enjoy stories with familiar settings as it makes it easier to picture, unfortunately in this case, while I could imagine where things happened, in many chapters I struggled to picture what was happening due to its unfamiliarity. Thankfully, the last section changed this for me.

  4. When this book begins, with Elliott Wolfe seemingly spinning gold out of hay, you almost hope his schemes and get-rich-quick scenarios give him the life he wants for himself and his wife, an enigmatic and secretive Frenchwoman. Elliott is ruthless while being quite the charmer, but he’s only in it for himself. He’s quite capable of juggling lots of business/political balls, and builds an empire in the clouds. Athol, his younger brother, doesn’t trust him. And, as we find out with crushing certainty, he certainly shouldn’t. Athol’s more of a dreamer than a businessman or anything high powered. These two brothers stagger through life, vastly different and with vastly different wives, lives and goals, even as the dramas of Western Australia’s politics and power plays out behind Elliott’s business. There is the inevitable showdown, everything points towards it, and the result is bloody. There was lots of to-ing and fro-ing in this book, yet Elliott remains charismatic (or so he might think, to me he’s a Class A shyster), even when things get tricky. Whereas Athol is quieter, moodier yet stoic, but also relentlessly unable to find his feet. The flashes we get of the power plays in WA are fascinating and deadly. The bad old days (I hope) of politics and power. There’s also an awful family secret that’s been kicking around for decades. A very interesting book dedicated to the author’s father Bob Hawke, a previous Australian Prime Minister – the book ‘he told me I should write’.
    Thankyou to Beauty & Lace and Fremantle Press for the review copy.

  5. I really enjoyed The Brothers Wolfe. Steve Hawke has quite a unique style of writing which really worked. I just read the previous reviewers comment, I didn’t realise Steve was Bob Hawke’s son! Fascinating! I grew up and live in the same area as the story is based so it resonated with me – the characters language and personalities and family relationships over the course of time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *