Book Review: Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

I’ve been avoiding YA novels for some time now. They just make me feel old and I can’t connect with the characters anymore. But I decided to take a chance on this YA book and I’m glad I did.

Goodreads Blurb

Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

An exploration in grief, suicide, spiritualism, and Inuit culture, Winter of the Wolf follows Bean, an empathic and spiritually evolved fifteen-year-old, who is determined to unravel the mystery of her brother Sam’s death. Though all evidence points to a suicide, her heart and intuition compel her to dig deeper. With help from her friend Julie, they retrace Sam’s steps, delve into his Inuit beliefs, and reconnect with their spiritual beliefs to uncover clues beyond material understanding. 

Both tragic and heartwarming, this twisting novel draws you into Bean’s world as she struggles with grief, navigates high school dramas, and learns to open her heart in order to see the true nature of the people around her. Winter of the Wolf is about seeking the truth—no matter how painful—in order to see the full picture.

In this novel, environmentalist and award-winning author, Martha Handler, brings together two important pieces of her life—the death of her best friend’s son and her work as president of the Wolf Conservation Center—to tell an empathetic and powerful story with undeniable messages. 

Winter of the Wolf Book Cover


I’ve read some books lately that dealt with grief but I have to admit that very few of them was able to do so as touchingly as Winter of the Wolf. The language used by the author was simply beautiful yet it wasn’t overly complex and really felt like it was coming from a teenage girl. Saying that, Bean and the other teenagers in this book felt a lot more grown up than I did at that age. Not that this is a bad thing. I do think that teenagers these days are more mature. Their eyes are far more open to the world than mine were and this level of maturity they have should be acknowledged and respected.

I loved how individual Bean and Sam were as people. They didn’t follow the crowd and were comfortable being themselves. Characters like this are so important for the YA age group. I remember when Glee first aired on TV and wishing I had something like that when I was at a more impressionable age. I’m really glad that today’s youth have some solid characters to look up to.

And for those just looking for a good story, Winter of the Wolf is a great mix of thriller and drama. Plus, it also provides the level of education I enjoy, as it touches on the Inuit culture.

Winter of the Wolf is available to buy now.

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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