STARRED REVIEW
January 27, 2015

Joining a new community—and feeling the chill

By Cecilia Ekbäck

When Maija, her husband Paavo, and her daughters, Frederika and Dorotea, pack up their lives in Finland and head west to the Swedish Lapland in 1717, they were hoping for a fresh start, a clean break from the losses and the disappointments in their homeland.

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When Maija, her husband Paavo, and her daughters, Frederika and Dorotea, pack up their lives in Finland and head west to the Swedish Lapland in 1717, they were hoping for a fresh start, a clean break from the losses and the disappointments in their homeland. The land they find there is something like life, harsh but beautiful, and so they begin to make a new path for themselves in the shadow of the Blackåsen Mountain.

When Frederika and Dorotea discover the dead body of a neighbor, the fragile idea of stability in their new home begins to evaporate. 

When Frederika and Dorotea discover the dead body of a neighbor, the fragile idea of stability in their new home begins to evaporate. Deemed a wolf attack by the group of suspiciously unconcerned villagers, concern about the true happenings falls to Maija, who believes the man was murdered. While investigating his death, Maija immerses herself in the dark history of Blackåsen, full of tragedy and betrayal, while the winter cold becomes even more bitter.

The village sees a “wolf winter,” the harshest winter in memory, and as it descends, Frederika senses a call from the mountain, a pull toward it, a feeling no one else seems to experience or understand. The town bands together in an effort to survive, but with the close quarters comes exposure of secrets, and Maija and her family discover the true cost of a winter at Blackåsen.

Cecilia Ekbäck is a native of Sweden; her parents are from Lapland. She now lives in Calgary with her husband and twin daughters, but in her debut she returns to the landscape and characters of her childhood, clothing her memories in a suspenseful, Gothic fiction that will leave readers hanging on every word. Wolf Winter is a tale of moving and of staying put, of forgetting and remembering, of fear and family and nature.

 

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Wolf Winter

Wolf Winter

By Cecilia Ekbäck
Weinstein Books
ISBN 9781602862524

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