A Rare, Unforgettable Story: Read our Review of Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

A Rare, Unforgettable Story: Read our Review of Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

From the author of the international bestseller Migrations comes a pulse-pounding new novel set in the wild Scottish Highlands.

Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team tasked with reintroducing fourteen grey wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape but a broken Aggie, too. However, Inti is not the woman she once was, and she may be in need of rewilding herself.

Despite fierce opposition from the locals, Inti’s wolves surprise everyone by thriving, and she begins to let her guard down, even opening up to the possibility of love. But when a local farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, she makes a reckless decision to protect them, testing every instinct she has.

But if her wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will she do when the man she’s been seeing becomes the main suspect?

Charlotte McConaghy captivated readers last year with her breakout literary novel Migrations, a profoundly moving story that is set to be adapted for film by Benedict Cumberbatch and Claire Foy. She returns to similar territory with Once There Were Wolves, a propulsive and spellbinding tale about a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves. Like her previous novel, Once There Were Wolves has a strong environmental bent, examining climate change and the impact humans have on the natural world. But while Migrations was preoccupied with the irrevocable damage done to a dying planet, Once There Were Wolves is, at its heart, a story about healing – of both the environment and each other.

The novel follows protagonist Inti Flynn, dipping back and forth between her childhood, in both inner Sydney and the remote wilderness of British Colombia, her time spent working with wolves in Alaska and the present in the Scottish Highlands.

Inti is a strong, feisty, and incredibly fascinating protagonist who suffers from a rare neurological condition known as mirror-touch synaesthesia, which enables her to feel the sensory experiences of others. While her condition can be considered a gift, granting her preternatural levels of empathy for other people and animals – especially her wolves – it is also dangerous, leaving her vulnerable to the hurt humans inflict on each other. This is evident through McConaghy’s portrayal of Aggie, a survivor of domestic violence who is left broken and a shadow of her former self. Over the course of the novel, McConaghy slowly reveals the source of Aggie’s trauma and the extent to which it changed both Aggie and Inti who, through her mirror-touch, experienced it with her.

In this rare and richly nuanced novel, McConaghy has woven together a love story, a murder mystery, a story of sisterhood, and of trauma and healing. But above all, Once There Were Wolves is an exquisite ode to the natural world and all the wild creatures in it.

Reviews

Propulsive and Spellbinding: Read an Extract from Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Review | Extract

10 August 2021

Propulsive and Spellbinding: Read an Extract from Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

    Read our Q&A with Bestselling Author Charlotte McConaghy

    Review | Author Related

    10 August 2021

    Read our Q&A with Bestselling Author Charlotte McConaghy

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        Publisher details

        Once There Were Wolves
        Author
        Charlotte McConaghy
        Publisher
        Penguin
        Genre
        Fiction
        Released
        03 August, 2021
        ISBN
        9781761043222

        Synopsis

        From the author of the international bestseller Migrations comes a pulse-pounding new novel set in the wild Scottish Highlands

        Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team tasked with reintroducing fourteen grey wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but a broken Aggie, too. However, Inti is not the woman she once was, and may be in need of rewilding herself.

        Despite fierce opposition from the locals, Inti’s wolves surprise everyone by thriving, and she begins to let her guard down, even opening up to the possibility of love. But when a local farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, she makes a reckless decision to protect them, testing every instinct she has.

        But if her wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will she do when the man she’s been seeing becomes the main suspect?

        Propulsive and spellbinding, Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable tale of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves. Part thriller, part redemptive love story, Charlotte McConaghy’s profoundly affecting novel will stay with you forever.

        Charlotte McConaghy
        About the author

        Charlotte McConaghy

        Charlotte McConaghy has been writing from a young age. She has both a Graduate Degree in Screenwriting and a Masters Degree in Screen Arts, and has worked in script development for film and television for several years. She has written a number of speculative fiction books but The Last Migration is her first literary novel. She lives in Sydney.

        Books by Charlotte McConaghy

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