Book lover. Stephen King Fanatic. Will try anything once. General Lover of Fiction. Reviewer Everywhere. All views my own. Mostly.
Publication Date; Available Now from Hodder and Staughton
There are six homesteads on Blackasen Mountain.
A day's journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the Church summons her people through the snows. Then, even the oldest enemies will gather.
But now it is summer, and new settlers are come.
It is their two young daughters who find the dead man, not half an hour's walk from their cottage.
The father is away. And whether stubborn, or stupid, or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest.
Wolf Winter was a wonderfully chilly read that I read mostly wrapped up in my duvet - set in the 1700's we meet a family who have just arrived on Blackasen Mountain. It is a new start for them but when the sisters discover a body, they become embroiled in the myths, legends and realities of life in this harsh environment.
I found that this one gripped me more and more as time went on - early in the novel the scene setting is superb, which by the time the really haunting part starts to kick in has put you right into the atmosphere - it is one of those books that envelops you in its aura, a wintery, beautifully written tale with some wonderfully drawn characters.
It is part crime fiction part family drama - with some strong female leads, the most intriguing of which for me was Elena who is actually more peripheral. Maija and her daughters, who sit right at the heart of the story, are elegantly described and I loved how the author gave a real sense of what it was like for women in that time through their thoughts and actions. Maija is determined to discover what happened to the dead man but is held back by superstition and hidden secrets - and there is a storm brewing..
I was highly intrigued by how much influence the Church had, the priest who does not care but somehow does, is an excellent character through whom we can see the nuances of how things worked, this arc I found completely fascinating. The story also has a haunting, dark edge to it that can be quite disconcerting, occasionally reading late at night I found myself jumping at shadows.
Overall a terrific novel - atmospheric and authentic, I look forward to more from this author. I will be first in line.
Happy Reading Folks!