Mary Donahue of suburban Chicago is 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 cynicabrutal blizzard winter of 1978-79, the end of a hard luck, hard rock era sunk in the cynical aftermath of the Vietnam War.
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 anunlikely source, Kathleen, a nice, normal kid from English class.
But when the real storm hits, the full force of a harsh adult world almost buries Mary. Only then does she learn that the only difference between life and death is knowing when to grasp anextended hand.
Martha Engber’s next novel, WINTER LIGHT, will be published Oct. 6, 2020, by Vine Leaves Press.
She’s also the author of THE WIND THIEF, a novel, and GROWING GREAT CHARACTERS FROM THE
GROUND UP. A journalist by profession, she’s written hundreds of articles for the Chicago Tribune
and other publications. 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.
She currently lives in Northern California with her husband, bike and surfboard.
Giveaway to Win an e-copy of Winter Light (Open INT)
Giveaway to Win a Book Club Chat from Martha Engber (Open INT)
Giveaway to Win a free hour book development consultation with Martha Engber (Open INT)
This is a heartbreaking book, poor Mary, with her dead mother, deadbeat drunk dad and useless older brothers, except Danny.
Failing through life, she meets and befriends Kathleen, who with her loving and intact family, is Mary’s opposite. Their friendship offers her a glimpse at a better life.
But tragedy enters Mary’s life again and she freefalls. Luckily Kathleen’s kind mother is still on her side and in the lowest reaches of her despair, Mary calls her.
This is sad, and at times, hard to read. Thankfully there is rescue there for Mary and she’s young enough that all the darkness can’t completely overwhelm her.
Moving and powerful, this is a striking and effective novel about love, trust and pain.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.
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