December 1, 2018 (Little A) Available Wherever Books Are Sold!
I lost myself in WINTER LOON, its rugged heart, its dark secrets, the honesty and vulnerability of its characters. With prose both taut and lush, Susan Bernhard has created the quintessential coming-of-age story: raw, tender, and completely spellbinding.
WINTER LOON is a stunner. In gorgeous, laconic prose, Susan Bernhard has brought to life an unforgettable character in Wes Ballot, whose coming-of-age is marked as much by his own resilience as it is by the tragedy of his circumstances. I read this book late into the night. I bet you will, too.
WINTER LOON is a brutal, beautiful coming-of-age story in which a young man who loses everything must return to the landscape of that loss to discover what it all means. Susan Bernhard is a writer of incredible grace and power who employs weather and the natural world to plumb the icy depths of her characters’ souls for the warmth of hope, healing, and heart.
Wes Ballot is the kind of character I read books hoping to find—imperfect and lovable, haunted yet determined to forge ahead. From the moment I slid out onto the ice with him, Winter Loon had me in its grip. A gorgeous novel from a masterful new voice.
Winter Loon seethes with the energy of an adolescent boy trying to figure out how to become a man. Wes Ballot is sixteen, weighed down by loss and secrets, but also uplifted by the joys of falling in love. All the while, Susan Bernhard’s muscular writing propels the reader through this striking debut.
With stunning prose and unforgettable characters, Bernhard brings us inside the life of a boy struggling to break out of the harrowing cycle of his past. This story is at once heartbreaking and inspiring—for every character determined to hold Wes down comes another with just enough ordinary grace to set him free. And the fine line between despair and redemption Wes walks will keep you holding your breath until the very end. This is a masterful debut.
This is a beauty of a page-turner, dreamy, disquieting, and uncompromising to the end. Against the tide of the wandering heart, the novel tells us, only love can offer us a place to rest—and only if we let it.