Title: Winter of the Wolf
Author: Martha Hunt Handler
Date of publication: July 7th, 2020
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group
Print length: Paperback, 264 pages
Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Mystery, Contemporary,
Edition: ARC – audiobook
You can buy this book from Amazon
Writing Quality 6/6, Character Development 6/6, ‘Couldn’t put it down’ – ness 6/6, Intellectual Depth 6/6, Diversty 6/6, Originality 6/6, Overall 6/6.
TRIGGER WARNINGS: suicide, death of a loved one, death of an animal.
One of my goals for 2020 was to make my TBR more diverse. I began to realise how important it is to give the minorities more media representation and to normalise their existence. This book was a great pick, and I will tell you why.
As I wanted to start a new sewing project, I was looking for a short, yet compelling audiobook that can keep my mind occupied while my hands were working. Winter of the Wolf did just that. The audiobook had only six and a half hours, and it made me realise how important it is to try to seek the truth, even if it might seem as if it has to stay buried.
One of the best things about this book was the main character, Bean. Right from the very first page, you meet her, and you connect with her. She is devastated because of her brother’s death, and she wants to find the answers that can lead her to the cause of his death. Everybody thinks Sam committed suicide, but Bean is sure he didn’t. She knows him too well to believe that he did such a thing. The story is all about her and how she is searching for answers while learning about the Inuit culture.
You have no idea how much I appreciated the family that was portraited in the book. Bean, Sam and their mother were very spiritual people while the other two brothers (I forgot their names) and their father were more on the analytical side and didn’t quite believe in the power of nature. Although all of them were very different people with very different believes, they managed to say together and to show that being spiritual or embracing a new way of viewing life shouldn’t stay between friendships or family relationships.
Bean was round and complex as a character. You can see her with lights as well as shadows. To be honest, Bean became a role model for me after finishing the book. By the time the novel started, Sam already took his life. Even so, he had a well-developed story, and I loved everything about him. One character that I didn’t quite like was Julie. I feel like she didn’t bring anything to the story, and she was there only so Bean wouldn’t be alone through her self discovery journey.
Now, by far the best thing this book managed to do is raise awareness. Martha Hunt managed to keep the reader engaged in a mysterious story about loss, and also teach the readers about spirituality. This has been one of the best mysteries I’ve read in a long time, even if it was mild and not full of twists.
Overall, this book was amazing! I recommend it for people aged 11 and up, and I will surely come back for other books written by this author.
Diversity – Winter of the Wolf was the book that made me add this point to my rating system. It talks about Inuit culture without being too subjective. It had a sad ending that made me break into tears but still managed to educate people. It also talked about mental health issues, loss of a loved one and different ways of dealing with grief.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
You can learn more about her at https://marthahunthandler.com/ or follow her on facebook at Martha Hunt Handler or on Instagram at @marthahunthandler.
Martha Hunt Handler grew up dreaming of wolves and has always understood that her role in this lifetime is to tell stories and be a voice for nature. She has been an environmental consultant, a magazine columnist, an actress, and a polar explorer, among other occupations. When she and her four children relocated from Los Angeles to New York more than twenty years ago she began to literally hear the howls of wolves. This marked the beginning of her work advocating on behalf of wolves at the Wolf Conservation Center (nywolf.org). Winter of the Wolf is Martha’s debut novel.