2022 Indie Award Winner: Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy – Our Review


This is the much anticipated second novel from the author of The Last Migration (later changed to Migrations for some unknown reason), which I rated as my book of the year for 2020.

With Once There Were Wolves, McConaghy has avoided the dreaded second book syndrome and delivered another superb read. With some books, its the writing that draws you in and others its more the story that captures you.

Inti Flynn is the leader of a team of biologists reintroducing wolves to the Highlands of Scotland. By rewilding the forests, the hope is that nature can achieve the balance it needs for the land to heal itself . Inty brings her broken silent twin sister, Aggie, hoping she can heal her, too. But there is resistance from all quarters, leading to unimaginable consequences.

McConaghy is a wildly imaginative writer that in two novels has stamped her place on the Australian literary scene. When you are reading both her books you are genuinely feel that you have made a discovery that you were hoping to find but doubted it was possible after reading books that nearly did it for you but not quite.

If you are looking for a book that you can truly immerse yourself into and revel in the joy of great writing, Once There Were Wolves is the one.

Review by Marty Maher ( Nic’s partner)

Inti Flynn arrives in Scotland with her twin sister, Aggie, to lead a team tasked with reintroducing fourteen grey wolves into the remote Highlands. She hopes to heal not only the dying landscape, but a broken Aggie, too. However, Inti is not the woman she once was, and may be in need of rewilding herself.

Despite fierce opposition from the locals, Inti’s wolves surprise everyone by thriving, and she begins to let her guard down, even opening up to the possibility of love. But when a local farmer is found dead, Inti knows where the town will lay blame. Unable to accept her wolves could be responsible, she makes a reckless decision to protect them, testing every instinct she has.

But if her wolves didn’t make the kill, then who did? And what will she do when the man she’s been seeing becomes the main suspect?

Propulsive and spellbinding, Once There Were Wolves is the unforgettable tale of a woman desperate to save the creatures she loves. Part thriller, part redemptive love story, Charlotte McConaghy’s profoundly affecting novel will stay with you forever.