I’ve also got a review for you today of Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler, a compelling and moving young adult story of loss, grief, friendships, beliefs and spirituality – based around a true story, one close to the author’s heart…..

book blurb & info

A tragic mystery blending detective work & spirituality. An exploration in grief, suicide, spiritualism, and Inuit culture, Winter of the Wolf follows Bean as she searches for the truth of her brother Sam’s “”suicide.””

Unconvinced her loving brother could commit such an act without warning, Bean pulls herself from her grief to become a part-time detective and shaman. With assistance from her friend Julie, Bean retraces Sam’s steps and delves into his Inuit beliefs, seeking clues from beyond material understanding.

Both tragic and heart-warming, this twisting young adult novel will not only have readers diving deep into the customs of native peoples, but also gaining a greater understanding of the effects of suicide and loss. Bean is an empathetic and driven fifteen-year-old who readers will quickly gravitate toward and follow as she struggles with family tragedy, high school drama, and understanding the people around her. Through Bean’s eyes, Winter of the Wolf urges readers to seek out the truth-no matter how painful-in order to see the full picture.

An environmentalist and award-winning author, Martha Handler has brought together two important pieces of her life-the death of her best friend’s son and her work as president of the Wolf Conservation Centre-to craft an empathetic and powerful story with undeniable messages. Martha’s passionate debut novel will capture the hearts of a young audience.

Published by: Greenleaf Book Group on 28th July 2020

Formats available: Hardcover, audiobook & eBook.

Purchase Links: Amazon UK ~ Amazon US

my thoughts

Bean shares an incredibly strong bond with her brother Sam, and when he passes away through supposed suicide, she finds it hard to believe.  With his strong Inuit belief’s, would he really take his own life? With her family struggling to come to terms with the loss Bean, with the help of her friend Julie, decide to do some digging to try to find the truth.   But will the truth be what she expects? And will she, and her family, be able to move on from their loss?

This is a beautiful, thought provoking and moving story.  Bean is one strong young girl who holds her family together through the loss of her beloved brother.  She believes she knows him the best, and doesn’t believe for a second that he would actually take his own life.  But as she delves into her amateur investigation, she finds out things about Sam that she didn’t know; making her question whether she really knew him as well as she first thought.

Her best friend Julie is a fantastic character, always by Bean’s side no matter what; and is there to help her in her investigation and to find peace in her loss.

The story is heart wrenching in places, especially when it comes to how Bean’s parents cope with the loss and the things that she has to pick up to keep her family running.  But it’s also heartwarming how the loss brings her closer to her other brothers.

There is a supernatural and magical element to the story, and even the setting appears magical in itself.  It really drew me in and helped me to immerse myself in the story.

I was so intrigued by the Inuit beliefs part of the story and found it fascinating.  The spiritual side is also really lovely, and will help anyone who has experienced a loss; helping them to find peace and have gratitude in other areas of their life.

Knowing that this story means something to the author too made it a poignant read, and highlights some important areas and risks.  I also love the fact that all book sales proceeds received by the author go to the Wolf Conservation Center.

Overall this is a beautiful and thoughtfully written novel, that will sweep you up into Bean’s story, bring out a range of emotions and completely fascinate you.  I would absolutely love to read more from this author.  Recommended by me.



Thanks to Michelle from FSB Associates for inviting me to read this, and to NetGalley for my copy.  All views and opinions are my own.

I’ll see you all tomorrow lovelies

Chelle x

Please note this post contains Amazon affiliate links.  If you choose to purchase this book through these link, I will receive a small payment (at no additional cost to you).  This is the only form of monetisation on my blog so every little helps and is appreciated.

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