Once There Were Wolves; Charlotte McConaghy
Flatiron Books and Penguin Random House Audio - 2021
After the author's last book, Migrations, made my favorites list last year I knew I wanted to read her latest release. This one is good but, it's also quite different and a bit disturbing too.
Inti Flynn is a lead biologist working on a project that will reintroduce fourteen gray wolves into a remote part of the Scottish Highlands in an effort to rebuild our ecosystem whose forests are being destroyed by the lumber industry. The wolves will also help control the deer population in the process. When Inti arrives her mute twin sister Aggie is with her. Inti's mission is two-fold: she wants to help the environment and also help her sister Aggie to heal from her past trauma. Inti is met with resistance from locals, farmers who are concerned about the wolves destroying their sheep and when a farmer is found dead it is likely the blame will be put on the wolves but, not so fast here.
This is one darker story that has a lot going on in it for a book that isn't all that long (272 pages). There is the wolves aspect, environmental aspects, the sisters past, a murder mystery and even a romance. I loved the background on the wolves, the deep bond between Inti and the wolves as well as the environmental aspect of the story. I also liked the flashbacks as to what has happened in the sisters past and the fact that I learned something new: a condition called, "Mirror Touch Synesthesia" it is a condition that enables a person to feel the sensory experiences of others. It's something that can be both a gift and a curse. It was first experienced by Inti when was just eight years old when she witnessed her father gutting a rabbit while living in the woods of British Columbia. Thus making sense of the opening sentence of the book:
"When we were eight, Dad cut me open from throat to stomach."
If you are interested in the environment and something quite different, try this one but, beware there are some vivid unpleasant details along the way.
Both the audio book and print version were borrowed from my public library system.
Rating - 4/5 stars