Cover Image: Winter of the Wolf

Winter of the Wolf

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Member Reviews

this was a really good mystery, it had emotions and really dealt with tough topics. I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to more from the author.
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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.
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Bean shares an incredibly strong bond with her brother Sam, and when he passes away through supposed suicide, she finds it hard to believe.  With his strong Inuit belief’s, would he really take his own life? With her family struggling to come to terms with the loss Bean, with the help of her friend Julie, decide to do some digging to try to find the truth.   But will the truth be what she expects? And will she, and her family, be able to move on from their loss?

This is a beautiful, thought provoking and moving story.  Bean is one strong young girl who holds her family together through the loss of her beloved brother.  She believes she knows him the best, and doesn’t believe for a second that he would actually take his own life.  But as she delves into her amateur investigation, she finds out things about Sam that she didn’t know; making her question whether she really knew him as well as she first thought.

Her best friend Julie is a fantastic character, always by Bean’s side no matter what; and is there to help her in her investigation and to find peace in her loss.

The story is heart wrenching in places, especially when it comes to how Bean’s parents cope with the loss and the things that she has to pick up to keep her family running.  But it’s also heartwarming how the loss brings her closer to her other brothers.

There is a supernatural and magical element to the story, and even the setting appears magical in itself.  It really drew me in and helped me to immerse myself in the story.

I was so intrigued by the Inuit beliefs part of the story and found it fascinating.  The spiritual side is also really lovely, and will help anyone who has experienced a loss; helping them to find peace and have gratitude in other areas of their life.

Knowing that this story means something to the author too made it a poignant read, and highlights some important areas and risks.  I also love the fact that all book sales proceeds received by the author go to the Wolf Conservation Center.

Overall this is a beautiful and thoughtfully written novel, that will sweep you up into Bean’s story, bring out a range of emotions and completely fascinate you.  I would absolutely love to read more from this author.  Recommended by me.
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I enjoyed this novel so much, and considering my somewhat shaky relationship with YA fiction, I was quite surprised from the get-go how much I didn’t want to put this novel down. It had everything: a compelling story, well fleshed out characters, depth and meaning, along with a sensitivity regarding what can only be considered as ‘big ticket' issues. This might be marketed as a YA novel, but it's really one that suits all ages, in my opinion.

Bean was a beautiful narrator, so honest and loyal. I enjoyed her family interactions and especially her relationship with her best friend Julie. This novel has a spiritual underpinning that appealed to me greatly. It raised a question that I hadn’t thought much about, to be honest, that of whether we need to be born into a culture in order to live by its rules. Bean's brother Sam had decided from a young age that the Inuit life and beliefs were what he wanted to live by, even though he wasn’t Inuit himself. It's like he chose it as his religion. I found that really interesting and quite thought provoking.

There are some heavy themes in this novel but they are handled with sensitivity and intelligence. This is one of those rare novels that walks the line between education and entertainment with perfect grace. Despite the grave beginnings, it soars to a hopeful finish that left me feeling fulfilled and inspired.
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Many Thanks to Net Galley, Greenleaf Book Group and the author for a chance to read and review this book. All opinions are expressed voluntarily.

Very recently a popular actor in Indian cinema passed away and a case of suspected suicide was registered. The uproar that erupted is still creating a media storm. There are some claiming friendship milking the tragedy for what it’s worth, there are some for no fault of theirs paying a hefty price as fans have gone berserk, then there are the politicians making hay amidst the mayhem,  then there are the genuine fans who are left bereft losing a talented actor who feel that as each day a new allegation arises, he’s being killed again and again. Well, in this age of painstaking scrutiny, no peace for the dead too. But the fact that emerges out of this pandemonium is very simple, it is the need to understand why the suicide happened and if at all, if it really was one? 

This is what reverberated in my mind as I read this touching and emotional story about a teenager who loses her soulmate brother to death. The chapters that captures the misery of the family was devastating that I did take a break from reading and shed a few tears. 

Bean is the youngest of four siblings, but it is Sam that she’s closest to in more ways than one. The love that binds them together is beyond words that can ever be described. His loss is therefore insurmountable but when her mother collapses completely and refuses to emerge out of the fog and care for her other children, Bean takes over the task as caretaker and glues the family together.
The journey she undertakes with her best friend Julie to understand Sam was necessary for her survival and I loved how the author has shown the deep friendship between the 2 girls caring for each other and sharing the pain and heartache.
Every part of the story in dealing with the sorrow and the spiritual journey that Bean and her mother believes in were wonderfully done. The author serves as an advocate for wolves and she has clearly used her experience in blending a mystery with the natural elements using the forests and Innuit beliefs beautifully for this tragic tale of loss and overcoming grief.

For all readers who have had to endure grief, this book is definitely gonna melt your hearts! Brilliant.

This review is published in my blog; Amazon India, Goodreads, and Twitter.
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To be honest, what caught my eye was the cover and title at first. I'm a huge wolf lover and if by any chance there are wolves in a book I will read it. I also only skimmed through what this book was about. I noticed that it had a traumatic event and some grief. My interest was piqued. I'm glad I read this book.

I like going into books blind. That being said, I'm glad I did with this one. This book caught my attention from the moment I begun to read it. The story is easy to follow and easy to understand. I really enjoyed the way the author put the Inuit beliefs in this story. The added spiritual beliefs of reincarnation was also interesting. It gives it a different perspective on how we normally view life and death. Even if you don't believe in the Inuit beliefs or reincarnation it's still a very good read. It was nice seeing a wolf used in this story as a guide and not a threat. Wolves are often perceived as evil, dangerous, or a bad omen. When they are actually often misunderstood. Wolves are beautiful, very interesting and majestic animals. It was nice how the author put this in her story.

While Bean is dealing with a very traumatic event in her life as well as her family we get to see how the grief took its toll on each character. We get to see their healing process as well. I believe in instict, intuition, gut feelings, or whatever you may call it. Some people are more tuned into their intuition and I like to think I'm like that. I could totally relate to Bean and understand her journey for answers. I could also relate to her grief and pain. It was very interesting how the author added these different "gut instincts" or "intuitions" in her story.

While Bean and her family are grieving you also get to see them healing and growing. I really did enjoy this story and how it unfolded. I'm glad how it ended. But I would also enjoy more. I would really be interested if the author wrote about Bean in the future. I give this book 4.5 stars.
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Handler's book follows the story of Bean and her friend Julie looking into the death of Sam (Bean's brother). While all evidence points to suicide, Bean and Julie believe there may be foul play. The novel explores themes of grief, suicide, and spirituality.

The writing was beautiful, but did not connect with the voice of a 14/15 year old. The word choice was too old for her.

The depictions of grief were very well done and varied among the characters. The mother's grief was the hardest to read about and made the most sense.

The last thing I would like to discuss is the depiction of suicide. Bean's and Julie's characters seemed obsessed with the idea that Sam was not one of "those" people. While Sam may not have had any of the traditional warning signs, it doesn't change the fact that suicide can and does happen to anyone. I can appreciate that young characters may not understand mental health issues as well as adults. However, the depiction could have been handled better.
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The story follows Bean and her family after the tragic death of his brother, Sam. Bean believes that her brother did not intentionally commit suicide and would like to know if the cause of his death was related to his Inuit beliefs.

I love how the author narrates how each of the family members dealt with the loss of a loved one. I love that Julie, Bean's best friend never gave up on her and supported her throughout her grieving and when she feels like no one understands her. The story is well written with a good pace of events.

I'm happy that after reading this novel. I began to appreciate and respect the spiritual beliefs of the Inuit people. That there is a soul in every living thing and that we are all interconnected. I love how the family was able to surpass this difficult ordeal and was able to be united again and move forward.

Although this novel has good intentions of promoting awareness about the environment, burial practices, animal welfare, and auto asphyxiation, I feel that this novel is not for me. 

I'm grateful to the author, to the publisher, and to Netgalley for allowing me to read and review the eARC of this novel.
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The Winter of the Wolf is a story about the tragic and untimely death of a teenage boy and how his family and friends work towards grieving and eventually accepting his loss.

17 year old Sam Kane's body is found in his room by his mother in an apparent suicide. Sam loved and had a strong belief in the Inuit culture and customs and lived his life according to those beliefs. He was a strong, fearless, intelligent, kind, spiritual person with a deep understanding, love and appreciation for Nature and everything that inhabited it. He loved life and wanted to experience everything that life and the world had to offer. He was in no way a depressed soul, hence, his apparent suicide comes as a shock to his family but they eventually learn to accept it. All except his 14 year old sister and soul mate Bean, whose intuition and heart refuses to believe that Sam could have killed himself. She is also upset that her father and two older brothers, seem to have easily moved on from this tragedy, while her mother has become a shell of her personality. So on her 15th birthday, Bean and her best friend Julie make a pact and decide to dig deeper. Using Sam's Inuit beliefs as a main guidance, they question family and friends, go through his belongings and even perform a Shamanic ritual to find out what exactly happened. Along with the closure she eventually gets, Bean also comes to accept as a certainty (something that she has constantly and intuitively felt) that even though Sam's physical journey in this world has come to an end, his spirit is still very much alive and thriving. She also realises that she has been unfair in her assessment of her family's reaction to this tragedy--every person has his/her own personal way of coping with tragedies. Through dialogue, they learn to appreciate and celebrate Sam's life and his achievements in its entirety, and appreciate each other, with the result that by the end of the book, the Kane family are much closer and happier as a family than they have ever been.

For me, the character that stood out was Sam. Even though he is alive for only a few pages, his strong, intense personality shines through which only gets stronger as each character reminisces about him later on. The writing and language is simple but very emotional and my favourite parts are definitely the chapters describing the Inuit's culture, Shamanism and the Shamanic ritual that Bean and Julie perform at the end to get in touch with Sam's spirit. Even though it's not my belief system, it was still very interesting to read about and the author manages to explain complex ideas about this native Indian culture in a manner that is easy to understand. 

My thanks to NetGalley, the publishers Greenleaf Book Group and Greenleaf Audio and the author Martha Hunt Handler for both an e-ARC and audio-ARC of this book. I both read and listened to the book. The audio is narrated by Kelly Pruner and she has done a fine job. There is both crispness and clarity in her voice and pronunciation and I didn't have any problems with the new audio format that NetGalley has introduced. 

P. S.: I am not sure if my review does any justice to the book, but it is worth a read.
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I was intrigued by the synopsis for this book and for the most part it did not disappoint. We follow Bean who is in the rebounds of her brother, Sam's death. The police say that Sam committed suicide but Bean's instinct tells her this is not the case. We see Bean trying to deal with her grief while also trying to figure out the real cause of Sam's death as she is certain he would never commit suicide. 

This story really took me on a journey as it delves into a spiritual aspect with grief and with death and I was intrigued by it as I have never really had much belief in anything spiritual but despite the tragic setting, it was fascinating to learn about and see Bean go on this journey. I myself learnt some very valuable things which I know I will carry with me for a very long time. 

The only thing that I was disappointed by was the ending, it wasn't what I expected at all and honestly I was definitely expecting something a bit more related to Sam's beliefs.
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This book is beautifully written and gives an insight into suicide within a family.

Martha Hunt Handler has covered the topic with thoughtfulness and understanding what the effects it has upon the family and beyond 

With the dead brothers Inuit faith, for which I admit to never even heard of before, his sister's tries to understand his death but without accepting his suicide as the reason. 

As it comes to light on this death, you can almost start to feel the lifting of the family and how they begin to reunite together in grief and memories of their loved one. 

Enjoyed it very much 

Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for ARC
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Thank you to NetGalley, Martha Hunt Handler, Greenleaf Book Group Press, and Greenleaf Audiobooks for the opportunity to listen to Winter of the Wolf in exchange for an honest review.

Initially, I requested this audiobook for two reasons:
1) I love Inuit culture. I did a report on it in 5th grade after visiting Alaska and I currently incorporate Inuit mythology and language into my own writing.
2) I wanted to try out NetGalley’s new app, NetGalley Shelf. Reading on there seems okay, but I wanted to see how this whole audiobook thing worked (not well).

I enjoy listening to audiobooks in the car, while playing games, or while grading papers. I listened to the majority of this one while playing Minecraft. I had a lot of trouble with the app in terms of getting the book to download properly, having it lose my place, having to re-download because the download failed so many times …it was a bit of a mess. But hey, it’s a new thing, and it will improve! (The publisher sent me the e-book version as well so I could cross-reference and go back and see if I missed anything or just to reread a certain part).

Regardless, I found the talents of narrator Kelly Pruner to be absolutely fantastic. She has a great reading voice and really added to Bean’s character. Bean is a fifteen-year-old girl living in the states. After her brother’s supposed suicide, Bean and her friend dig a bit deeper, as that was just not the way Sam was at all. Her older brother, Sam, loved Inuit culture and wanted to have a burial in the way of that tribe. One of my draws to this book was the Inuit culture. While there were some interesting elements laced in, it felt like the cultural aspect fell a little flat and wasn’t quite fulfilled for Sam’s character the way it could have been.

Bean and her family deal with this loss, among the daily high school life of drama and friendship. I felt like the book ended in the wrong place, that it needed just a few more chapters. It is rather short, less than three hundred pages and about a six-hour listen. I enjoy the voice and writing style. When I look at the cover, I lean more towards children’s rather than young adult, but the tone and feel are definitely in the young adult category, addressing serious issues that many young adults face, such as dealing with the loss of a loved one, suicide, and family.

I enjoyed this book, but would caution who I recommend it to, as the wrong reader might struggle with some of the presented topics. I would certainly buy this book for myself or a friend, though I am not so sure about using NetGalley’s audiobook app again…^_^’
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I read this book to review for the website I co-run, The Bloom Stack. I really enjoyed this novel and read it in one sitting, which is quite rare for me to do with my full time job. 

Martha Hunt Handler deals with heavy topics such as suicide and learning to deal with the death of a close family member, with her descriptions being hauntingly realistic. 

We would love to feature more novels like this one on The Bloom Stack in the future. Our email is 

Please keep an eye out for our upcoming review on Winter of the Wolf.
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Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this book's ARC. All opinions bellow are mine and mine alone.

I found the blurb interesting and was looking forward to reading this book, but it seems I was not the right audience for it. I tried to fight through the last third, but ended up DNFing towards the last chapters.

I did like the author's writing style, and found the beginning of the story interesting. 
But it seemed to me like the story could not decide what it really wanted to be.

The main character, Bean, is dealing with the loss of her brother, who officially committed suicide. But Bean is sure he didn't. 

It's not really a story about dealing with loss and grief, nor a mystery story. The parts where Bean tries to find the real cause for her brother's death are sort of half-hearted, and the solution just appears towards the end without Bean doing anything to find it.

But what really made me want to drop the book was the way the spiritual elements were handled.
In particular the fact that the author mentions in a positive way a book, written by an American, that is supposed to describe the Australian aborigenes, a book that said people have requested to be forbidden in Australia because of its inaccuracies and negative depictions of their culture. At that point I had to force myself to continue, until I couldn't anymore.
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I really liked the premise of the book and where it was set. I also liked that it was going to have an indigenous connection. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish the book. The lead character's voice was not authentic. What teen girl calls her brother "beloved"? Also the father seemed to be a very one dimensional character. There were several inconsistencies as well. The weather is so bad that the teens get in a car crash but finally get home and call for a pizza. I am sorry I really wanted to love this book and it has such an eye catching cover.
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This book can be read in a few hours but it will be one that imprints itself in your mind and doesn’t go away. I love to read something that is different, something that stands out from the crowd, yet I can still connect with at my level. This is such a book.
Bean, the only daughter in the household and youngest child at 15 years old, is the central character of the story. You could say it isn’t about her it is about her brother Sam but is it a journey of discovery as she finds a Sam she didn’t know. We are after all unique to everyone in every relationship we have with them. We all have numerous personalities.
Bean and Sam have a very special connection between them that they don’t have with their older two brothers. In fact, the closeness they have is rare between siblings to this degree. Sam is at one with nature and practices Inuit Cultural ways. He really knows how to work the system at home too and can wiggle his way out of most situations if dealt with by his mother. His father is much stricter.
After a really bad day where everything that can go wrong does, Sam is found dead in his bedroom and it is put down to suicide, something that his sister Bean cannot accept.
Bean has her own journey of discovery in this story. I loved her character and the way she went about hunting down the truth, especially respecting her brother’s beliefs and ways. I was fascinated with the Inuit Culture as she used her own knowledge he had taught her and discovered paths she never thought she would need. The author joins nature and the old ways of the tribes combined with good old investigating to get to the truth.
This is a heartfelt read, at times I felt helpless and sad myself but it is so much more. It is about moving on and finding peace with yourself and others. Beautifully written.
I wish to thank Michelle Fitzgerald of FSB Associates and NetGalley for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
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I received a free electronic copy of this amazing novel on July 7, 2020, from Netgalley, Martha Hunt Handler, and Greenleaf Book Group Press. Thank you all for sharing your hard work with me.  I have read this novel of my own volition, and this review reflects my honest opinion of this work.  I am pleased to recommend Martha Hunt Handler to friends and family.  She writes a tight tale with fascinating protagonists and a storyline that dips into your heart very close to the beginning of the novel. 

This novel is so persuasive you can feel the ice crystals forming on the bedroom windows.  It is a book I missed sleep to read, and would do so, again.  I hope to see many more novels from Martha Hunt Handler.
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Winter of the Wolf is a beautifully written story exploring deep themes such as the loss of family, grief and suicide, all of which are handled with care and compassion. There were many things I enjoyed about this book, despite the tough subject matter. I adored Handler's writing, the way that grief and suicide were explored through Bean's eyes without ever feeling like romanticised, and I became interested in the weaving of Inuit culture into the story, as I have not seen that in a story before. I admit, without doing more research, I cannot say for certain how well the aspects of Inuit culture were expressed within the story, but it felt like the matter was approached with respect and care. The characters were well developed, Bean and Sam especially, and though it had the air of sadness as Bean was grieving for her brother, the novel felt very entwined with the emotions of our main character, and left me intrigued to continue reading. Ultimately, this is a story of healing, of sifting through the complicated feelings one can have after losing someone you love, especially after an apparent suicide, and coming to an understanding of your emotions through Bean's unravelling of the truth behind her brother's death. Also, unrelated to the story, but the cover for this book is absolutely gorgeous.
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Winter of the Wolf was a great book to read. I enjoyed it. 
It's about a girl named Bean and her family who are close. One day something happens, and one of her brothers gets in serious trouble after doing his sister a favor. He gets grounded. He is very angry and he does something after his friend tells him about it and gives him the item to do it. 
His parents soon find him and are devastated, and so are the other brothers and Bean. 
She soon decides to find out, with the help of her friend, who or what happened to her brother. What she finds out is shocking, to say the least. 
A very good book. 
4 stars.
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Winter of the Wolf is the story of a girl dealing with grief and how she begins to overcome it.  It deals a lot with Inuit culture and spirituality.  It is a wonderful story with strong characters, a great Northern Minnesota setting and a bit of a mystery at the center of it all. I really loved everything about this book and the cover is perfect.  I can’t recommend it enough.  Perfect for all readers, but especially those who enjoy nature, spirituality, and YA books.  This is definitely one worth picking up.
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