The Wolf and The Favour 

by Catherine McCarthy 

Hello folks! Thank you for joining me again here at Nerd Central! How is your reading going? Enjoying the books that you are reading? I hope so.

Today, I am joining the brilliant Zooloo’s book tours to tell you all about the newest book by Catherine McCarthy called The Wolf and The Favour. If you are not familiar with Catherine’s work, there are some reviews of her other books on the site. 

Writing from her farmhouse in Wales, She is the author of the Novellas Immortelle (published in 2021 by Off Limits Press) and Mosaic (Dark Heart Books, 2023) and also the Novel A Moonlit Path of Madness (Nosetouch Press, 2023).

She has also published two anthologies of short fiction called Door and other Twisted Tales (2019) and Mists & Megaliths (2021), and her short fiction has been published in a variety of different magazines and anthologies.

Book Description 

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.


The Wolf and the Favour tells the story of ten year old Hannah, a girl who also has Down Syndrome and her single parent father Bledsyn who move to Wales following the breakdown of her father’s marriage. 

They move into a picturesque cottage which has a mysterious lane at the back of the house. As the pair settle into the close knit community, Hannah becomes friendly with a wolf who warns her of the dangers of the lane and the forest at the side of it.


So, I wanted to write a snippy review that would objectively point out the good and the critical bits of the book. However, I decided to throw that out with the bath water and just gush on how good this book is.

I love Catherine McCarthy’s books. Ever since I read her short story collection Mists and Megaliths I have been a fan, so when I heard that she was releasing this book I was well on board, especially when she said that she was putting a person with Down Syndrome at the heart of the story. 

Now, I expected to like this book, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did and I think that this is already a contender for my favourite book of the year.

One of the things that I liked about this book is that it reminded me of classic children’s literature and for me had tones of Alan Garner. And  similarly to Alan Garner, Catherine McCarthy weaves folklore throughout the contemporary story of this book which utterly entranced me. However, it’s not only that, it’s the characters of the book that had me spellbound. Hannah herself is a great character. She’s resourceful, insightful and wraps her father round her little finger.

Not only that, I really enjoyed the relationships between the characters, especially between Hannah’s teacher’s father, Emrys. An old farmer who also his own secrets.

There are many themes going on in the book such as the breakdown of the relationship between Hannah and her mother, and also the blossoming romance between Hannah’s father and her teacher Bleddyn, and all of it is handled really well.

Now my final rant is how much I loved that Catherine McCarthy deftly weaves horror elements into the story and whilst this book is totally suitable for younger readers, there are some scary scenes in the book (but not too scary).

Final Thoughts

I wanted to say something insightful and catchy to finish but the only thing I have got is that I utterly adored this book.

Author Bio

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.

Book Links


BUY LINK - Amazon UK



TWITTER (now X, but we don’t mention that!)


PS. If you would like to know more about Down Syndrome you can find out more at the Down Syndrome Association

If you would like to know more about Zooloo’s Book Tours, such as how to join the tours, what’s coming up next or if you are an author and want to book a tour click on the link


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