A Winter's Rime: A Novel (Hardcover)
A harrowing and emotional novel set in rural Wisconsin—A Winter's Rime explores the impact of generational trauma, and one woman's journey to find peace and healing from the violence of her past.
Mallory Moe is a twenty-five-year-old veteran Army mechanic, living with her girlfriend, Andrea, and working overnights at a gas station store while figuring out what’s next. Andrea's off-grid cabin provides a perfect sanctuary for Mallory, a synesthete with a hypersensitivity to sound that can trigger flashbacks from her childhood.
The getaway that's largely abandoned during the off season starts out idyllic, until Andrea's once-loving behavior turns controlling and abusive, and Mallory once again finds herself not wanting to go home. After a particularly disturbing altercation, Mallory escapes into the subzero night and stumbles into Shay, a teenage girl, injured and asking for help. But it isn’t long before she realizes that Shay isn't the only one who needs saving.
A story about sisterhood and second chances, A Winter’s Rime looks to nature to find what it can teach us about bearing hardship and expanding our capacity to forgive—not just others, but ourselves.
About the Author
CAROL DUNBAR is the author of the critically acclaimed novels, The Net Beneath Us—winner of the Wisconsin Writers: Edna Ferber Fiction Book Award, and A Winter's Rime. She is a former actor, playwright, and coloratura soprano who left her life in the city to move off the grid. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The South Carolina Review, Midwestern Gothic, and on Wisconsin Public Radio. She writes from a solar-powered office on the second floor of a water tower in northern Wisconsin, where she lives in a house in the woods with her husband, two kids, and a Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog.
“A poignant, beautifully written, and deeply felt exploration of human trauma. Like the icy coating of the novel’s title, Dunbar’s story of emotional survival is sharp, both in its depiction of a winter landscape and in its focus on the winter of the soul. Although Dunbar never flinches from offering difficult truths, in the end, A Winter’s Rime is a memorable and moving story of healing and hope.”
—William Kent Krueger, New York Times bestselling author of Fox Creek
“A big-hearted novel that succeeds on many levels: as a mystery, a thriller, and a sensitive, deeply-researched, character-study. It is difficult enough to write an emotionally authentic story, but Dunbar has also masterfully interwoven her passions for science, nature, violence, and redemption. A driving, compelling read.”
—Nickolas Butler, bestselling author of Shotgun Lovesongs and Godspeed
“Just as every snowflake is shaped by unique environmental conditions, each of us is born into circumstances that intricately pattern our adult behavior. Once determined, can these patterns be changed? That’s the provocative question in A Winter’s Rime, the poignant story of a young woman who’s learning how to trust herself and the people around her in the aftermath of repeated trauma. Set in an atmospheric winter landscape, Dunbar’s second novel tenderly demonstrates the healing power of friendship, empathy, and closure.”
—Glendy Vanderah, bestselling author of Where the Forest Meets the Stars
“Haunting, hypnotic, and deeply affecting, A Winter's Rime shimmers with hard-won wisdom. Carol Dunbar’s second novel is a story of quiet heroism and empathy that illustrates a universal truth: when asked for help, extend a hand; the life you save may be your own.”
—Jillian Medoff, bestselling author of When We Were Bright and Beautiful
“Dunbar’s rich depiction of a brutally crystallized Wisconsin landscape reflects the callous cruelty endured by her characters…her treatment of [PTSD and trauma] is unflinchingly raw but unwaveringly compassionate.”
Praise for The Net Beneath Us:
“Dunbar delivers both a tumble through the shifting light of grief, and a forgiving forest floor on which to land.”
—Leif Enger, New York Times bestselling author of Peace Like a River and Virgil Wander
“There are novels that we enjoy, but the most memorable ones, and The Net Beneath Us is one of these, leave readers with a sense that our lives have been enriched. An astonishing debut.”
—Ron Rash, New York Times bestselling author of Serena and Above the Waterfall
“Containing wisdom as deeply rooted as a Wisconsin forest, The Net Beneath Us is an evocative and beautifully written meditation on grief and the lasting power of friendship. A story that reminds us that in difficult times, showing vulnerability can be the ultimate act of strength.”
—Lucy Tan, author of What We Were Promised
“Drawing from her own experience living off the grid in northern Wisconsin, Dunbar's debut novel encapsulates what it means to come home to oneself.”