It’s a miracle and it’s a curse, the secrets our bodies keep.
When Rory agreed to temporarily move back to her hometown to support her pregnant twin, Scarlett, irrevocable changes to her life (and body) weren’t what she had in mind. After running into Ian, who’s been in love with her forever, at a bar, she has an accident on her way home.
It wasn’t a bear that attacked Rory that night under the watchful gaze of the full moon. It turns out werewolves aren’t as fictional as we’ve all been led to believe.
“Yep. Werewolf,” I say. “A real thing apparently. Who knew?”
While Rory was justifiably concerned about Bambi’s welfare after the accident, it’s not Rory’s car Bambi needs to worry about; it’s her appetite.
The body horror is strong with this one, with the transformation process a particularly visceral experience. The close encounters with a smorgasbord of meats will mean you’re likely to either crave a big juicy steak while reading or reconsider your carnivore status entirely. Or, if you’re like me, your stomach will be turning even as you wish you had a cheeseburger in front of you waiting to be devoured.
Having a female werewolf central to the story doesn’t just make for an entertaining read. It also paves the way for themes of power and control, rage, how we live after trauma and the reclamation of bodily autonomy when your body has been used by another as an object and it doesn’t feel like you inhabit it anymore. Rory’s struggles with what her life looks like now and with her family and past are explored while she works her way through the deli section of the local supermarket.
In all the fairy tales, the wolf is big and bad and dangerous. A predator. Devious and evil. Something to be feared. But fairy tales are bullshit. Maybe wolves just get a bad edit.
There are worse things to be. I know because I’ve faced those monsters.
Content warnings include mention of domestic abuse, grooming, physical abuse and sexual assault. If you have emetophobia, do an about-face now. This is not the book for you.
Thank you so much to NetGalley and Titan Books for the opportunity to read this book.
Once Upon a Blurb
Rory Morris isn’t thrilled to be moving back to her hometown. There are bad memories there. But her twin sister, Scarlett, is pregnant and needs support, so Rory returns to the place she thought she’d put in her rearview. After a night out at a bar where she runs into Ian, an old almost-flame, she hits a large animal with her car. And when she gets out to investigate, she’s attacked.
Rory survives, miraculously, but life begins to look and feel different. She’s unnaturally strong, with an aversion to silver – and suddenly the moon has her in its thrall. She’s changing into someone else – something else. But does that mean she’s putting those close to her in danger? Or is embracing the wildness inside her the key to acceptance?
This darkly comedic love story is a brilliantly layered portrait of trauma, rage and vulnerability.