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Wolf Winter (Hardcover)
WOLF WINTER by Cecilia Ekbäck - Melding historical fiction, murder mystery, and supernatural chiller, Ekbäck’s debut takes place in the northern reaches of Scandinavia in 1717. The Harmaajarvi's, including Maija, her emotionally fragile husband, Paavo, and their two daughters, Frederika and Dorotea, have left their native coastal Finland to settle next to Blackåsen Mountain in rural Sweden. When the girls come across a mutilated body while goat-herding on the mountain the death is explained as a wolf attack. The few other settlers explain it away as a wolf attack, but Maija suspects murder. As she struggles to prepare for the winter, Maija continues to investigate the man's death and uncovers an aura of malevolence that surrounds Blackåsen, harkening back to the pagan roots of the land. Ekbäck provides realistic and suspenseful glimpses into pioneer life during a wolf winter, "the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal...mortal and alone." ~ Nancy— From Nancy's Book Picks
February 2015 Indie Next List
“Maija, her husband Paavo, and their daughters, Frederika and Dorotea, leave Finland to settle in Lapland in the beautiful area near Blackasen Mountain. One day, Frederika discovers the body of one of the villagers. Was he killed by wolves or was he murdered? What powers does the mountain have? The harsh 'wolf winter' brings the settlers together to survive, but what tragedies, secrets, customs, and vengeance are they hiding? When Maija and her family arrived at the mountain, readers were told, 'This was the kind of land that didn't know how to let go.' Ekback's intriguing tale of Swedish Lapland in 1717 gives insight into the land and people of the far north and is also hard to let go.”
— Barbara Theroux, Fact & Fiction, Missoula, MT
A compelling historical thriller set in 1700s Sweden from an exciting new literary talent. "Exquisitely suspenseful, beautifully written, and highly recommended."
-Lee Child "Visually acute, skillfully written; it won't easily erase its tracks in the reader's mind."
- Hilary Mantel "Wolf winter, '" she said, her voice small. "I wanted to ask about it. You know, what it is."
He was silent for a long time. "It's the kind of winter that will remind us we are mortal," he said. "Mortal and alone."
Swedish Lapland, 1717. Maija, her husband Paavo and her daughters Frederika and Dorotea arrive from their native Finland, hoping to forget the traumas of their past and put down new roots in this harsh but beautiful land. Above them looms Black sen, a mountain whose foreboding presence looms over the valley and whose dark history seems to haunt the lives of those who live in its shadow. While herding the family's goats on the mountain, Frederika happens upon the mutilated body of one of their neighbors, Eriksson. The death is dismissed as a wolf attack, but Maija feels certain that the wounds could only have been inflicted by another man. Compelled to investigate despite her neighbors' strange disinterest in the death and the fate of Eriksson's widow, Maija is drawn into the dark history of tragedies and betrayals that have taken place on Black sen. Young Frederika finds herself pulled towards the mountain as well, feeling something none of the adults around her seem to notice. As the seasons change, and the "wolf winter," the harshest winter in memory, descends upon the settlers, Paavo travels to find work, and Maija finds herself struggling for her family's survival in this land of winter-long darkness. As the snow gathers, the settlers' secrets are increasingly laid bare. Scarce resources and the never-ending darkness force them to come together, but Maija, not knowing who to trust and who may betray her, is determined to find the answers for herself. Soon, Maija discovers the true cost of survival under the mountain, and what it will take to make it to spring.
About the Author
Cecilia Ekbäck was born in Sweden in a small northern town. Her parents come from Lapland. In Wolf Winter , her first novel, she returns home to the landscape and the characters of her childhood. Ekbäck is a Professional Member of PEN American Center. She lives in Calgary with her husband and twin daughters.