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Winter of the Wolf by Martha Hunt Handler

Title: Winter of the Wolf

Author: Martha Hunt Handler

Published on: 7th July 2020

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers, YA and Teens

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

Bean, an empathic and spiritually evolved teen, is determined to unravel the mystery behind the death of her dear brother Sam. Sam believed in Inuit culture. He was closer to nature than Bean was. Sam and Bean had a bond that could never be broken – not until Sam’s untimely death.

A freak accident lead to Sam being reprimanded by his father. Bean and her best friend Julie were in the other room while Bean’s parents were entertaining guests. Bean’s older brothers Chase and Adam were out. Bean’s mother went to the boys bedroom hours later and Bean heard a gut-wrenching scream. Sam was dead.

Bean takes a lot of time to process the news. Her mum has retired into a cocoon while her dad gives Bean orders – mostly to do the laundry and other household chores. Her older brothers are emotionally distant too. Bean has no interest in anything – school or the guy she’s had a crush on. Everything changed since Sam passed away.

Winter of the Wolf is Martha Hunt Handler’s debut novel. In this book, Ms Handler has explored the elements of grief, spiritualism and Inuit culture.

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I cannot begin to describe how beautifully Ms Handler has written this story. At times, it was hard for me believe this was a piece of fiction. I could relate to Bean. Bean is clairvoyant, empathic and believes there’s much more in the universe than money, fame and everything that gives one momentary pleasure.

I really liked the brother-sister relationship portrayed in this book. I wish I had a brother like Sam! Sam is protective of Bean. At the same time, he introduces her to spiritualism, unconditional love for animals and birds, and much more. When Sam dies, a part of Bean dies too.

We all are a tiny speck of dust in this universe. Every living thing has a soul – animals, birds, insects, plants and human beings. Reading this book makes the reader realize we human beings might be evolved intellectually but in the process, we have lost the essence of ‘live and let live’. I am pretty sure each and every one has something to take away from this book.

Bean, with bestie Julie by her side, dig deeper into the mystery surrounding Sam’s death. The ending was unexpected and a little surprising. I cannot talk much about Bean’s sleuthing but I will tell you this: Bean and Julie are ready to do whatever it takes to prove Sam did not commit suicide.

I loved the amalgamation of spiritualism and suspense. Ms Handler is a master storyteller. The writing is absolutely beautiful. A lot of work has been put into writing this book and I personally think this book is one of the best books I have ever read. Too good to believe this is a debut novel! Excellent work by Ms Handler.

I highly recommend you to read Winter of the Wolf. Just keep in mind, this book might not be suitable for a light read. Take your time to devour this wonderful piece of mystery.


Many thanks to Michelle from FSB Associates for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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