Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy

Once There Were Wolves book cover

Rating: 3/5

What It’s About:

Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team of biologists tasked with reintroducing fourteen gray wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but Aggie, too, unmade by the terrible secrets that drove the sisters out of Alaska.

Inti is not the woman she once was, either, changed by the harm she’s witnessed—inflicted by humans on both the wild and each other. Yet as the wolves surprise everyone by thriving, Inti begins to let her guard down, even opening herself up to the possibility of love. But when a farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, Inti makes a reckless decision to protect them. But if the wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will Inti do when the man she is falling for seems to be the prime suspect?


The Review

Once There Were Wolves was difficult to rate. There were parts that I really loved but there were also several things that bogged the story down. My favorite parts were about the re-wilding of Scotland, the beautiful scenery, and the wolves. I wished the story had focused on the re-wilding project and how the reintroduction of wolves affected the community. That storyline was incredibly interesting and I shared some links at the end that are related to those elements. This book inspired me to learn a little more about the importance of a balanced ecosystem to keep natural areas thriving.

Because I’m in a bullet list mood, here is a breakdown of what I liked and didn’t like.

Things I liked:

  • The beautiful descriptions of nature and the forest
  • A lead female character in a STEM career
  • Learning about wolves and wolf packs
  • The depiction of living with and caregiving of a parent, specifically one with dementia

Things I didn’t like:

  • Too many subplots with many triggers (rape, domestic violence, killing of animals…)
  • Lots of flashbacks throughout the story
  • The mirror touch synesthesia that Inti seemed unnecessary
  • Most of the characters felt underdeveloped

Interesting Links:

Natural Habitat Adventures – Bring Wolves Back to Scotland


Have you read this book? I’d love to hear what you thought.

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