Book Review: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

About the Book:

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.

Published by Penguin Random House Australia – Hamish Hamilton

Released 3rd August 2021

My Thoughts:

Once There Were Wolves is a novel that pulses with rage whilst blinding you with beauty. It’s a profoundly moving novel, one to linger over and take your time with. Charlotte McConaghy is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to writing impactful eco-literature. In Once There Were Wolves, she examines the concept of ‘rewilding’ and the vital importance that apex predators, in this case, wolves, have on the forests and wild areas of the northern hemisphere. Inspired by the successful reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park in North America, McConaghy imagines the implementation of a similar project into Scotland, a place where wolves were hunted to extinction long ago, the forests now bearing the devastating impacts of this.

Once There Were Wolves is a multifaceted story. Alongside the reintroduction of the wolves into the Scottish Highlands, this is also a story about violence against women and deeply entrenched trauma, its repercussions and far-reaching effects. There is a vein of despair that runs through this story, it will blindside you at times and have you weeping at others. The wolves are magnificent. I love wolves, have always been drawn to them and there were moments within this story that felt so profound and significant that it brought me to tears. It was a true pleasure to revisit the brilliance of Charlotte McConaghy’s writing, she has a way with words that touches the soul. I loved Migrations and now Once There Were Wolves sits alongside it on my shelf where I keep all the best books I’ve read.


Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.

12 thoughts on “Book Review: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

  1. I love her last book, The Last Migration, so I’m looking forward to this one. I’ve requested the audiobook and the paperback from the library, greedy I know. The audiobook will arrive first, so I’m hoping it’s a narrator that fits with me. Great review.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I would just like to take a moment to appreciate your writing.. I mean, wow.
    Intelligent, propulsive, and absorbing. You did such a wonderful job, Theresa!
    I’ll certainly be keeping an eye out for the book, it sounds like a fantastic read, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy, Review: Mesmerising

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