This is the thing, isn’t it? This is the fear they live with now. The children in us long for monsters to take forms we understand. They want to fear the wolves because they don’t want to fear each other.Charlotte McConaghy, Once There Were Wolves
There’s nothing quite like experiencing the great outdoors. Me, I like to experience it from a distance. For example, If I’m going to go camping, then I want to be in a camper (or not camping at all). I’m not sleeping on the forest floor with nothing but a flimsy tent to protect me. I’m also not wandering off any hiking trails because that’s an easy way to get lost and die from the elements.
I am almost the exact opposite of Inti Flynn, the main character of my new read, Once There Were Wolves. This exceptionally nature-filled novel was written by Charlotte McConaghy.
Reading this book was like a breath of fresh air, and I have a feeling that every person who reads it will be howling for more.
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?
Propulsive and spell-binding, Charlotte McConaghy’s Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable story of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves—if she isn’t consumed by a wild that was once her refuge.
(Brought to you by Goodreads)
Just Read It
Hey, look, neature! That’s pretty neat.
I honestly can’t get this book out of my mind. There was something quite wild about it, and that’s not just because it was set in the wilderness of Scotland. This book breathes nature in such a way that it makes you want to get out of your house and wander the woods like a weirdo. Maybe hug a tree or two. It definitely opens your eyes to conservation and rewilding, if said eyes aren’t already open to that.
McConaghy’s descriptions read like beautiful poetry. This isn’t a book that you can just skim through. You have to read it nice and slow, but that shouldn’t be a problem because the words are just so dang majestical.
Don’t even get me started on Inti Flynn. This girl is a big-time BAMF. In all the ways a person can be a BAMF. She takes care of her sister who is emotionally scarred from a terrible incident that happened in Alaska, an incident that badly affected Inti too. She is in charge of rewilding Scotland by releasing – yes, you guessed it – wolves into some of the parks. Let’s just say the locals don’t take a liking to Inti and her colleagues, which doesn’t make her job any easier. It doesn’t matter how bad it gets, she doesn’t give up on her wolfy mission.
Also, kind of a spoiler, but I have to mention it – she gives birth in the freaking woods leaning against a tree, catches the baby by the ankle, and then bites the umbilical cord apart. You got that? BITES it. Like a crazy warrior woman. This happens in the dead of winter, people. She and the baby are huddled together against a tree, practically freezing to death, when a wolf pack encounters them, and huddles around them until help comes, which saves their lives.
To top it off, Inti kind of has a cool superpower. It’s actually just Mirror Touch Synesthesia, which is a condition that causes a person to feel a sensation of touch when they see someone else being touched. For Inti, it doesn’t just happen with people, it’s animals too, which explains her freakish obsession and love for wolves.
If you’re worried this book will be too nature-filled for you, please worry no more. There’s plenty of mystery and intrigue to keep your attention.
If you aren’t a fan of neature now, you will be by the time you finish reading this book. Do yourself a favor and just read it, mmkay?
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