Author(s): Cecilia Ekbäck
'Like a silent fall of snow; suddenly, the reader is enveloped...visually acute, skilfully written; it won't easily erase its tracks in the reader's mind.' HILARY MANTEL, author of Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies There are six homesteads on Blackasen Mountain. A day's journey away lies the empty town. It comes to life just once, in winter, when the Church summons her people through the snows. Then, even the oldest enemies will gather. But now it is summer, and new settlers are come. It is their two young daughters who find the dead man, not half an hour's walk from their cottage. The father is away. And whether stubborn, or stupid, or scared for her girls, the mother will not let it rest. To the wife who is not concerned when her husband does not come home for three days; to the man who laughs when he hears his brother is dead; to the priest who doesn't care; she asks and asks her questions, digging at the secrets of the mountain. They say a wolf made those wounds. But what wild animal cuts a body so clean?
~ This book is so compelling, and makes our winter look like summer in comparison to the Swedish Lapland of 1717. The reader is confronted at the beginning of the book with an eerie and disturbing scene - two young sisters exploring their new home of Blackasen mountain who happen upon a glade in which a dead man lies with his stomach gashed open, rotting in the summer heat.
Their new neighbours help to remove the body and his family is informed, but whilst the settlers on Blackasen claim a wolf or bear did it, Maija (the girls' mother) is convinced otherwise, and can not let it go - as something more sinister seems to be at play. Federika, her 14 year old daughter, begins to see visions of the dead man himself, and becomes equally compelled, in secret, to discover the cause of Eriksson's death. As Winter closes in on them with a force not seen in recent history, the native Lapps come with it and the settlers' secrets begin to emerge alongside tragic events as Maija's family struggles to survive the winter and discover what is really going on in this hostile land.
Skilfully written and very hard to put down! Jemma
Winner of HWA/Goldsboro Crown for Debut Historical Fiction 2016.
Exquisitely suspenseful, beautifully written, and highly recommended -- Lee Child, No1 bestselling author of the Jack Reacher thrillers Cecilia Ekback provides something fresh... haunting ... ugly secrets are soon brought to light at the cost of great danger to Maija and her family. Highly individual fare. Financial Times This story of the struggle for survival of a family of Finnish settlers in Swedish Lapland in the early 18th Century is not for the faint hearted. The writer creates a convincing atmosphere of a very strange time in a very strange land... The details of how these people survive in an extraordinary landscape stays with you long after you have finished reading. Daily Mail This debut by Swedish-born writer creeps up on its reader - steadily immersing them in its distant dangerous world. Eighty pages in, it is a surprise to look up and discover you are not snowbound. Metro Strong sense of place, robust characters and gothiky atmosphere. Woman & Home There are shivers aplenty in Cecilia Ekback's cracking atmospheric debut. Saturday Express Magazine Memorable and interesting characters, this story will stay with me for a long time. Cook Create Read blog
Cecilia Ekback was born in the north of Sweden; her parents come from Lapland. During her teens, she worked as a journalist and after university specialised in marketing. Over twenty years her work for a multinational took her to Russia, Germany, France, Portugal, the Middle East and the UK. In 2010, she finished a Masters in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway. She now lives in Calgary with her husband and twin daughters, 'returning home' to the landscape and the characters of her childhood in her writing. Wolf Winter is her first novel and she is at work on her second.You can find out more about Cecilia via her website www.ceciliaekback.com and you can follow her @CeciliaEkback on Twitter.