Wednesday, September 9, 2020
Posted By amy @ 4:45 am | 2 Comments
by Martha Engber
Publication Date: October 6, 2020
Vine Leaves Press
Paoerback & eBook; 260 pages
Genre: YA/Historical Fiction
WINTER LIGHT is the story of 15-year-old Mary Donahue of suburban Chicago, a kid on the cusp of failure during the brutal blizzard winter of 1978-79, the end of a hard luck, hard rock era sunk in the cynical aftermath of the Vietnam War.
The language of WINTER LIGHT is simple and stark as Mary’s internal landscape. Though a smart, beautiful kid, she’s a motherless girl raised by an uneducated, alcoholic father within an extended family of alcoholics and addicts. Aware that she’s sinking, she’s desperate to save herself and so reaches out to an unlikely source, Kathleen, a nice, normal kid from English class.
Though initially bleak, this story of redemption combines literary with historical fiction and is aimed at anyone who loves classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird and Catcher in the Rye where youths struggle at the abyss of a brutal adult world.
“Winter Light tugs at your heart, reminding you of what it’s like to be a young person growing up, unsure of what to wear, how to behave, who and what to care about. Unsure of anything. The story is a ride through Class V rapids that will keep you hanging on white-knuckled till the end. A great read.” Jana McBurney-Lin, author of My Half of the Sky
“Winter Light is the extraordinary and intricate story of Mary Donahue, a teenager from the darker side of life whose struggles, resilience, and courage will be forever seared in your brain and your heart.” Joylene Nowell Butler, author of Broken But Not Dead, Matowak: Woman Who Cries and Dead Witness
“Martha Engber has crafted a well-paced, thoughtfully structured, insightful novel that draws the readers’ compassion for Mary and the motley collection of ‘burnout’ teens that are Mary’s friends. We witness Mary’s heartrending struggles to break free of economic and social class boundaries, the effects of careless parenting, and the low expectations of others, subjects the author handles with great skill and subtlety.” Paulette Boudreaux, author of Mulberry
About the Author
A graduate of the University of Missouri – Columbia School of Journalism, Ms. Engber is the author of the author of The Wind Thief, a literary novel that received a 5-star “original and highly recommended” rating from the Midwest Book Review. She’s also the author of Growing Great Characters From the Ground Up: A Thorough Primer for the Writers of Fiction and Nonfiction. She’s had a play produced in Hollywood and fiction and poetry published in the Aurorean, Watchword, the Berkeley Fiction Review and other journals. She’s also a freelance editor, workshop facilitator and speaker who lives in Northern California with her husband, bike and surfboard.