Pat Murphy has been on my auto-buy list ever since her wonderful novel, _The City, Not Long After_. I picked up _Nadya_ mostly on my feelings about her as a writer and not so much for the werewolf angle.
The book follows Nadya, a werewolf during her life in the late 1800's, from her birth in the Midwest to her trek across country to California and settling in the Pacific Northwest. A variety of characters come and go, but very little plot is developed- in many ways it's more of a travelog than a novel. Each part (Growing up, travel, and life in the Northwest) is basically self contained, without any carryovers from bit to bit, so you end up feeling like the book is a series of short stories.
Worse, it's a series of short stories with the same, almost nonexistant plot. Nadya meets evil people who don't like wolves and good people who do, and survives despite the bad people. The third time around is just dull and predictable- you know as soon as she finds happiness with good people who like wolves, shortly evil people who don't will move nearby.
The book would be far more interesting if the evil characters were better written. Each is stamped from a mold: Evil people don't like wolves, are racists who want to kill Indians, treat women badly and log forests. None is the least bit sympathetic- we're given not a single redeeming quality in the vast majority. (At least the preacher in the first section is a bit better written.) The good guys are stamped from the mirror of the mold: each loves wolves, lives in harmony with nature, accepts all races and treats women as equals. After being hammered over the head with the same stereotypes again and again, you simply stop caring about the characters.
I hope that this book is just an abberation: Murphy can (and has) written far better.