Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy (Book Review)

The moment I heard about Charlotte McConaghy’s first book, Migrations, I just had this feeling I’d love her work. I love books about nature/the wilderness, and Charlotte’s writing has received widespread praise. So when a copy of Once There Were Wolves arrived on my doorstep, I was beyond excited!

Once There Were Wolves is about a woman named Inti, who’s in charge of a project to re-introduce wolves in the Scottish Highlands. The nearby farmers aren’t happy about this change, though, and when a man is found dead, tensions rise even further. At the same time, Inti is desperately trying to heal her emotionally traumatized twin sister.

*I received this book for free from the publisher (Flatiron Books) in exchange for an honest review.

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Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy book review

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Once There Were Wolves: My Thoughts

This was much darker than I expected – but in a good way. It was visceral and suspenseful, with characters that were full of depth.

It took me a moment to orient myself within the story, but once I did, I couldn’t stop reading. The descriptions of nature, the remote setting with a small town feel, the unique characters, and the mystery at the story’s core – it all worked so well for me.

It thrummed with tension, but without feeling over the top like some thrillers/suspense novels can be. It felt real, like I was there and experiencing it myself.

I learned a lot about wolves and how they live, too. McConaghy painted a profound picture of their beauty. The conservation/ecological theme is so relevant to the times we live in, and McConaghy definitely did it justice here.

All that to say: this is certainly a book worth reading, both for its message and for its engrossing, pulse-pounding story. Highly recommended!

And if you love this book, make sure to check out McConaghy’s other environmental fiction novel: Migrations. It’s about a woman who follows the migration of the last of the Arctic terns (a type of bird) to Antarctica.

Rating: 4.5 (out of 5)

Release date: August 3rd, 2021

Looking for more great book recommendations? Check out my list of exciting August 2021 Fiction Book Releases!

Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy book review

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