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ARC Review: The Wolf and the Favour by Catherine McCarthy

About The Wolf and the Favour by Catherine McCarthy


Ten-year-old Hannah has Down syndrome and oodles of courage, but should she trust the alluring tree creature who smells of Mamma’s perfume or the blue-eyed wolf who warns her not to enter the woods under any circumstance?

The Wolf and the Favour is a tale of love, trust, and courage. A tale that champions the neurodivergent voice and proves the true power of a person’s strength lies within themselves.

Review for The Wolf and the Favour

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was compensated for my time reading the book and writing this review. However, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and are based on my honest personal experience reading the book. Nor did the author in any way shape or form ever pressure me to give a positive review.

The Wolf and the Favour is a captivating book that weaves together elements of thriller, paranormal intrigue, and a fairy-tale adventure, all while exploring the theme of Down syndrome. We accompany Hannah, a courageous ten-year-old with Down syndrome, as she embarks on a journey in a world where nature itself seems to share a unique connection with her. With a story reminiscent of the classic tale of Red Riding Hood and the enigmatic allure of a blue-eyed wolf, we enter a story which blends familiar fairy tale adventure with a fresh and modern twist.

As a reviewer, I believe it’s important to provide a disclaimer and share my perspective on the portrayal of Down syndrome in this book. I wholeheartedly support the existence of books that address important issues like this one, as they offer valuable insights and perspectives. However, I must acknowledge that I lack personal experience or exposure to Down syndrome.

In evaluating the portrayal of Down syndrome in this book, I am placing considerable trust in the author’s ability to handle the subject matter sensitively. My confidence in this portrayal is bolstered by the author’s background and the evident motivation behind writing this book. One of the joys of reading is gaining access to diverse perspectives and experiences, which is why I genuinely appreciate books that illuminate unfamiliar topics. They play a crucial role in raising awareness among readers who may not have prior knowledge of such important issues.

With all that being said, I think I was able to learn a lot about Down syndrome from reading this book. McCarthy did a great job portraying the wholistic effect of Down Syndrome, including but not limited to the effect on the individual in question (Hannah) or the people around her (the night and day difference between her parents). The family dynamic between Hannah and her parents for example was a standout element for me.

In fact, one of my favourite aspects was delving into her father’s perspective, as he grapples with the role of the constant “villain” and justifies her mom’s occasional irresponsibility to spare her feelings. This refreshing subversion of traditional parent gender roles, where typically the father is portrayed as less caring, added depth to the narrative.

What truly stands out is the book’s remarkable ability to seamlessly intertwine the themes of Down syndrome with elements of entertainment (the paranormal, adventure, and horror aspects). The enigmatic wolf character, while embodying the essence of the forest and Hannah’s introduction to the supernatural world, simultaneously contributes to her development as she gets more confident and comfortable with her Down syndrome. asher adventure continues.

Hannah herself is a lovable and endearing protagonist, and it’s immensely satisfying to witness her character’s growth alongside her journey with the enigmatic wolf in this uncharted paranormal realm. The book masterfully balances its portrayal of Down syndrome’s effects and experiences with the allure of entertainment and the paranormal, resulting in a narrative that effortlessly blends these elements, creating a harmonious and engaging reading experience.

Overall, The Wolf and the Favour has been an enjoyable reading journey for me. It was not only an entertaining paranormal story but also served as a window into a topic I wasn’t very familiar with. McCarthy’s skillful storytelling and her ability to seamlessly blend these elements make this book a standout choice for paranormal enthusiasts. Moreover, her portrayal of Down syndrome is both sensitive and enlightening, adding depth and authenticity to the narrative. I definitely will recommend this novel to any paranormal fans and those interested in the portrayal of Down syndrome in literature.

If you liked this review and want to see other book reviews like this one, check out my book reviews collection!

About the Author of The Wolf and the Favour


Catherine McCarthy is the author of the novellas Immortelle and Mosaic and the novel A Moonlit Path of Madness. Her short fiction has been published in various anthologies and magazines, including those by Black Spot Books, Brigids Gate Press, and Dark Matter Ink.

In 2020 she won the Aberystwyth University Prize for her short fiction, a competition judged by the assistant editor of the Times Literary Supplement.

A former primary school teacher, she now weaves dark tales from her farmhouse in West Wales. Time away from the loom is spent hiking the Welsh coast path or huddled in an ancient graveyard reading Dylan Thomas or Poe.

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