Once There Were Wolves

By Charlotte McConaghy,

Book cover of Once There Were Wolves

Book description

A wild and gripping novel about one woman's quest to reintroduce wolves to the Scottish Highlands at any cost.

Inti Flynn arrives in the Scottish Highlands with fourteen grey wolves, a traumatised sister and fierce tenacity.

As a biologist, she knows the animals are the best hope for rewilding the…

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Why read it?

3 authors picked Once There Were Wolves as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

With a killer of a first sentence, this novel clenched me by the throat and wouldn’t let go.

The main character, Inti, a biologist with a rare neurological understanding of touch, sets out with three colleagues to rewild northern Scotland by reintroducing fourteen wolves into the environment. Once lush with woodlands providing cover and sustenance for native wildlife, the hills are now bare and tame.

Though a naturalist at heart, I didn’t fully realize the importance of Alpha predators to the environment. As Inti struggles to win over the local sheep farmers while protecting the wolves (and one breeding pair…

My final selection was surprising in all the best ways. It is the story of conservationist Inti Flynn and her quest to reintroduce wolves to the Scottish Highlands, hoping to save the crumbling ecosystem while she struggles with the collapse of her own life. What makes this story special is that it not only evokes empathy for the wolves, it also emphasizes the connections we have to the earth and to each other, and how our individual, often trauma-informed decisions have cascading and unintended effects. The whole story is an allegory for the environmental balance that is essential for survival,…

I’ve been a fan of Australian author Charlotte McConaghy since reading her first novel, Migrations—and Once There Were Wolves is just as beautifully written and page-turning, with the same reverence for nature and its creatures. The novel is about biologist Inti Flynn, who leads a team in Scotland to reintroduce gray wolves to the Highlands, bringing along her identical twin, Aggie. Like the wolves, Inti and Aggie are closely bonded, instinctually and fiercely protective of each other. Aggie has suffered a trauma, and Inti herself lives with a condition called “mirror-touch synesthesia,” in which her brain causes her body…

From Midge's list on saving animals.

The Last Whaler

By Cynthia Reeves,

Book cover of The Last Whaler

Cynthia Reeves Author Of The Last Whaler

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Arctic adventurer Eternal optimist Unrealistic realist Foodie Teacher

Cynthia's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

This book is an elegiac meditation on the will to survive. Tor, a beluga whaler, and his wife, Astrid, a botanist specializing in Arctic flora, are stranded during the dark season of 1937-38 at his remote whaling station in the Svalbard archipelago when they misjudge ice conditions and fail to rendezvous with the ship meant to carry them back to their home in southern Norway. 

Beyond enduring the Arctic winter’s twenty-four-hour night, the couple must cope with the dangers of polar bears, violent storms, and bitter cold, as well as Astrid’s unexpected pregnancy.

The Last Whaler concerns the impact of…

The Last Whaler

By Cynthia Reeves,

What is this book about?

The Last Whaler is an elegiac meditation on the will to survive under extreme conditions. Tor, a beluga whaler, and his wife, Astrid, a botanist specializing in Arctic flora, are stranded during the dark season of 1937-38 at his remote whaling station when they misjudge ice conditions and fail to rendezvous with the ship meant to carry them back to their home in southern Norway. Beyond enduring the Arctic winter's twenty-four-hour night, the couple must cope with the dangers of polar bears, violent storms, and bitter cold as well as Astrid's unexpected pregnancy. The Last Whaler concerns the impact of…


Want books like Once There Were Wolves?

Our community of 11,000+ authors has personally recommended 77 books like Once There Were Wolves.

Browse books like Once There Were Wolves

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in wolves, Scotland, and sisters?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about wolves, Scotland, and sisters.

Wolves Explore 111 books about wolves
Scotland Explore 323 books about Scotland
Sisters Explore 200 books about sisters