Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekback, Book Review

General Information
Genre: Thriller/Swedish Gothic
Pages:376
Publisher: Weinstein Books
Published: January 27, 2015

Book Summary:(Per NetGalley)
Wolf winter,’ she said, her voice small. I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is.’
He was silent for a long time. It’s the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal,’ he said. Mortal and alone.’ 


Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Blackåsen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow.

While herding the family’s goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors’ strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson’s widow, Maija is drawn into the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Blackåsen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice.

As the seasons change, and the wolf winter,” the harshest winter in memory, descends upon the settlers, Paavo travels to find work, and Maija finds herself struggling for her family’s survival in this land of winter-long darkness. As the snow gathers, the settlers’ secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, but Maija, not knowing who to trust and who may betray her, is determined to find the answers for herself. Soon, Maija discovers the true cost of survival under the mountain, and what it will take to make it to spring

My Thoughts
Without a doubt this is one of the best and most suspenseful books that I have read in ages.  Cecilia Ekback has a gift in creating with words a world that draws us in and surrounds us with the eerie feeling of the "other."

I was drawn to this book because of the sole wolf on the white background.  Upon reading the book summary I knew that I had to read it; and, the entire book did not disappoint.  The characters felt life like, the history and description of the land, events and people were tangible.  At times I truly could see it in my eyes like I was watching a movie.  One of the things I enjoyed the most was while there were hints upon reflection of this book, I never saw what happened coming.  There were so many twists and turns for each character; and, each turn had me in shock over what happened.  This thriller stayed full stream ahead until the very last page.  I am pretty sure my mouth was dropped open at the ending, but I LOVED how the story finished.  I must admit I was surprised by some of the decisions from various characters, but the ones that finished the book ...perfection.

If you like descriptive stories, full of suspense, history and lore, you will be an ardent fan of this book and author.

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Disclaimer:  I did receive this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

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