Bean Hanes is devastated. Her beloved brother, Sam, has hung
himself, his body found in his bedroom. There is no rhyme
nor reason why Sam, who was so joyfully full of life, would
do such a thing.
Family, friends, and people in their community react differently.
There is sorrow, confusion, denial, and withdrawal. As time
passes, Bean decides to learn more about Sam’s Inuit
belief, and along the way she learns more about herself and
The front flap of the hardcover book says that it is “A
Tragic Mystery Blending Sleuthing and Spirituality.”
That is such a perfect description of this novel. I found
it to be such an intriguing tale that my mind kept going,
trying to decide what the truth of Sam’s story might
be. When I’d laid down to sleep at night, I mulled over
the plot points. I was on the right track, but I hadn’t
quite got to where the story really goes.
I highly recommend Winter of the Wolf for ages teen
and up. It offers a powerful exploration of growing up spiritually,
emotionally, and physically, as well as showing how a family
can evolve after such a tragic loss.
The book cover itself is intriguing. The wolf is staring meaningfully
at you, and further inspection shows that the markings are
actually words of wisdom. What a creative design!
I love that the proceeds of the book go to the Wolf Conservation
Center (nywolf.org), where the author serves as Board President.
The back flap indicates that this is the author’s first
novel but definitely not her last. I look forward to future
books, and, in fact, I hope that this is the beginning of
a series built around Bean’s family and life.
Bravo, Martha Hunt Handler for a book well-written!