Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Wolf Season” as Want to Read:
Wolf Season
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Wolf Season

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  118 ratings  ·  27 reviews
After a hurricane devastates a small town in upstate New York, the lives of three women and their young children are irrevocably changed. Rin, an Iraq War veteran, tries to protect her blind daughter and the three wolves under her care. Naema, a widowed doctor who fled Iraq with her wounded son, faces life-threatening injuries and confusion about her feelings for Louis, a ...more
Paperback, 319 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Bellevue Literary Press
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Wolf Season, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Lisa Wolf Season blew me away. After settling into the first few chapters, I was thrust into the hurricane that sets the plot in motion and raced to the en…moreWolf Season blew me away. After settling into the first few chapters, I was thrust into the hurricane that sets the plot in motion and raced to the end in one sitting. The setting is simultaneously harsh and beautiful, exquisitely rendered. The characters are utterly compelling, the tension does not let up for the entire book, and unlike many contemporary war and homefront novels, Wolf Season has a complete, coherent plot. There is a shifting locus of activity around three women, each trying to negotiate a life that has been turned upside down by the cyclone of war—the widowed Iraq war veteran with a blind daughter and 3 wolves, Rin is traumatized by more than the war itself; the Iraqi doctor, Naema, flees the war to Syria then the U.S. with her son, an amputee, after her translator husband is killed, but life after war is hardly any easier; and Beth, the wife of a damaged Marine sergeant who is playing the part of a strong military wife, but who has started to crack as she attempts to raise their troubled son in his absence. All three women are single mothers whose lives are intersect through their children, and are marked with trauma and loss, but also with love. There are a few disturbing moments in Wolf Season, but these are not unexpected if we are honest about what really happens to people pulled apart by the violence of war, and they are counterbalanced by extraordinary kindness, generosity and the human spirit of survival. By the end of the book, a fourth set of characters – Rin’s three spectacular and perceptive wolves – are equally resonant characters in a magical and emotionally inspired work that is impossible to put down. Wolf Season a forceful, courageous, and enchanted book. Bravo!(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.01  · 
Rating details
 ·  118 ratings  ·  27 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Wolf Season
Angela M
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
It was intense right from the beginning. It is not an easy book to read, but I was compelled to keep reading. This is about people broken by war - some physically, a lost limb, lost fingers but all emotionally broken from the trauma of the fighting, the loss of loved ones, horrific treatment by one's own fellow soldiers, a blind daughter, fearful waiting for a husband who has served multiple tours of duty and never comes home the same. We only see a few of the horrific war scenes but the irrepar ...more
Diane S ☔
Sep 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an incredible story!

The Iraqi War and the long reaching effects of those who were or are involved in it, trying to survive in the world after experiencing so much trauma. Survival and the resilience to continue on in some fashion or another. Centered on three women, Rin, a decorated veteran has baracaded herself, along with her nine year old blind daughter, Janey, her dogs including one service dog and her three wolves, behind high fences on a large property her dead husband owned. Naema, t
Cathrine ☯️
Oct 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
“The day she fled that Baghdad hospital, she assumed that, painful as it was to leave her country forever, she was at least leaving war as well. But instead, it has followed her everywhere. First to Syria, then the resettlement center in Albany with it refugees from all over the world, their faces emptied of joy, eyes drained by loss. Then again to the clinic, her patients sickened by the toxins their parents absorbed at war, or harmed by violence those same parents brought home. And now it ha
America’s wars have lingering effects for an Iraq War veteran, an Iraqi refugee family, and an Afghanistan marine’s wife and son. Benedict makes it clear just how difficult it is for veterans and war refugees to find peace in a culture that so enshrines violence. Her child characters are as convincing and well drawn as the adults. I found a few of the coincidental connections between characters a bit hard to believe, and thought the book might have packed more punch if the collisions of characte ...more
Jun 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
An intense, compelling, and powerful story about the trauma of war brought back home by veterans. The characters are survivors who are now trying to live with their sorrows, memories, and conscience. Lives of three women in the story are all connected by a hurricane and yes, wolves. This author also wrote a prior book called Sand Queen which I plan on reading. I highly recommend Wolf Season. You will not be disappointed.
K.H. Leigh
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, giveaways
I liked this book far more than I expected to, from its description. It was easy to sink into the minds of each of the three women, and understand why they acted and felt the way they did.

I wasn't totally thrilled with the ending. Compared to how tangible and real the rest of the story was, it seemed a little forced, almost... convenient? While not necessarily a happy ending, it did seem to wrap up a little too tightly.
Dec 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling yet very disturbing. There is no redemption for these broken characters and I think that's what disturbed me the most-more than the mediocre prose. I was never sure if the wolves were real or a hallucination of a PTSD mind until the end.
My New Year's resolution is to creat a shelf for books I read but wish I hadn't. This book will be the first one shelved.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Wolf Season, Helen Benedict
This book is a wonderful examination of the social, moral, and political conflicts and concerns facing society today. The marvelous cast of characters touches on and exposes the issues with honesty, clarity and a force that will grab hold of your heart and make you look into your own thoughts and beliefs about our enemies during wartime, our friends and family at home, and those impacted by a war they may or may not wish to be involved in, but geographically find thems
Birgitta Hjalmarson
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
To me this book is all about fences, not just the fence that encloses the wolves, and it it described in great detail, but also the invisible fences that imprison the humans. No one goes free. Only the children come close to breaking through, but even for them, existence remains precarious. A harrowing account of the effects of war.
Jun 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Wolf Season was given to me as a Christmas gift by a close friend. It is not a novel I would have chosen for myself but I am glad it was given to me since it broadened my horizons in literary experience.

It took me a long time to get interested in Wolf Season and when I was finally to the point where I could not wait to see what happened to everyone the novel ended. Which was frustrating in it's own right but looking back I see why Helen Benedict stopped when she did.

Rin just wants to be left al
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wolf Season blew me away. After settling into the first few chapters, I was thrust into the hurricane that sets the plot in motion and raced to the end in one sitting. The setting is Winter's Bone harsh and simultaneously beautiful--exquisitely rendered. The characters are utterly compelling, the tension does not let up for the entire book, and unlike many contemporary war and homefront novels, Wolf Season has a complete, coherent plot. There is a shifting locus of activity around three women, e ...more
Amanda Morgan
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: library-thing
Such a great story about a group of people feeling the aftereffects of the Iraqi war. From veteran Rin who lost her husband in the war and was viciously betrayed by her own troop, to Naema the refugee who is working hard to become a doctor in America who helps veterans and their children. And Beth, whose husband returns to her and their son an abusive, violent man who can't outrun his PTSD. Add in a couple of remarkably adaptable children, three pet wolves and the compassion and empathy this gro ...more
Stephanie Urdang
May 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A searing, gripping novel that brings home the impact and destruction - self and towards others - of war on veterans and those who love them. It left me raw and emotional and reignited my anger at such senseless wars. She writes about this reality through her complex characters in particular the three central women, a veteran, the wife of a veteran and an Iraqi doctor - with empathy and skill. It a compelling book that I could not put down and read pretty much in one sitting. I now look forward ...more
Sep 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: librarything
Thanks to LibraryThing for the ARC in exchange for an honest review. Wolf Season by Helen Benedict is an intense, well-written story about how war affects the people who are in the military, the family members of the soldier and the people living in the war zones or who escape from them. Set in a small town in New York after a hurricane, there are three main storylines that are all connected. Rin is an Iraq war who has a blind daughter and lives isolated in the woods with her three wolves. With ...more
Kimberly Needham-Phan
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book was intense and touched on many serious subjects, but all the different stories are ones that must be told. The book weaves together the lives of 3 women all impacted by the Iraq war. The pace was perfect, and I could tell the author did a lot of research to capture the harsh realities of the long reach of war.
Lisa Trank
May 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Powerful and startling. The intensity and interwoven traumas told with such humanity makes this one of the best books I've read this year. The character of Rin will stay with me for a very long time. I've never entered into the life mind of a woman vet and her life in the woods with tender Juney and the wolves is so beautifully rendered. Wow, simply wow.
Four mothers -- three human, one lupine. Three sons; one daughter. All under the crush of a hurricane; all veterans, in one way or another, of war.

Please, someone, craft this story into a film. It is magnificent and true and wrenching.

catherine ♡
Nov 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: contemporary
The idea for this book is really interesting and I loved how the author depicted the effects of war. I did think that the plot moved a little slowly and some parts of the ending felt too convenient, but other than that it was a nice read.
Sue Carre
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wolf Season tells the story of three women all dealing with the effects of the aftermath of war. Beautifully written.
Jun 17, 2018 rated it liked it
I can't say I LIKED the book exactly... it was haunting in a dozen different ways... but it was gripping. I did enjoy its local setting in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene.
Garth Pettersen
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An excellent read and an outstanding example of how to craft a novel around a theme. I would recommend to book clubs for discussion.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well written but hard situation to read about. The ending was abrupt and unsatisfying though.
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although I usually find it depressing to read about characters damaged by war, this book is so well-written and the characters so powerful, I had to keep turning the pages.
Eileen M
Aug 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Read it for my book club. Interesting story line, although I probably wouldn't have selected it myself.
rated it liked it
Jul 14, 2018
rated it really liked it
Nov 11, 2019
rated it it was amazing
May 07, 2018
rated it it was amazing
May 23, 2018
carol MacPherson
rated it it was amazing
Oct 02, 2018
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Can't Wait to Get to Heaven  (Elmwood Springs, #3)
  • Valley of Silence (Circle Trilogy, #3)
  • This Matter of Marriage
  • The Waiting: The True Story of a Lost Child, a Lifetime of Longing, and a Miracle for a Mother Who Never Gave Up
  • Friends, Lovers, Chocolate (Isabel Dalhousie, #2)
  • A Taste for Vengeance (Bruno, Chief of Police, #11)
  • Riptide (FBI Thriller, #5)
  • Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter
  • The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
  • Mercury
  • My Own Words
  • Rainshadow Road (Friday Harbor, #2)
  • Leaving Lucy Pear
  • Prime Meridian
  • The Good House
  • A Good Country
  • Away
  • Empire Ascendant (Worldbreaker Saga, #2)
See similar books…
Helen Benedict is an award-winning novelist, a writer of nonfiction, and a professor of journalism at Columbia University. Her seventh and newest novel, Wolf Season, is to be published by Bellevue Literary Press in October, 2017.

The novel tells the story of how, after a hurricane devastates a small town in upstate New York, the lives of three women and their young children are irrevocably changed

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
54 likes · 18 comments
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »