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Monday, September 27, 2021

Review: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Once There Were Wolves
by Charlotte McConaghy

Thanks so much to BookSparks and Flatiron Books for this amazing gifted book.

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publish Date: August 3, 2021
272 Pages
Genres: Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Cultural: Scotland

Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.

Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed—inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect?

My Review:

Oh my heart...❤ I've always had an affinity for wolves since I read The Call of the Wild and White Fang when I was a child.  And now I have another favorite in ONCE THERE WERE WOLVES.  I was NOT expecting to lose myself so completely with this story. I absolutely adore Inti and her commitment not only to her wolves, but to her twin sister as well.  I couldn't imagine living with mirror touch synesthesia - which is a condition that causes a person to feel a sensation of touch when they see someone else being touched.  The brain is such a powerful force, isn't it?  But it is because of this blessing/curse that we, as the reader, get to really feel Inti and all the feels that she goes through... whether through nature, the wolves, the people around her or herself.

I felt at one with the wolf packs and learned so much about them and am truly grateful for the lesson.  I hope there are lots of Intis in the world that understand the devastating effect we are having on this earth and strive to make it better day by day.  It was difficult to read some passages and my heart broke several times over as I became more and more glued to the passing pages.  But this book is about more than just the wolves.  McConaghy digs into Inti and her twin's past.  And let's not forget about the secondary and tertiary characters because their stories are also just as important.

Between the characters and the wolves we get an abundance of magical story telling but the author also gives us such great atmosphere.  I could hear the howls,  I could feel the trees, smell the smells and that last huge scene in the forest... I couldn't help myself, my eyes leaked.  I couldn't recommend this very character driven novel more.  Prepare your heart and be ready for an emotional journey but it is worth every word.


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