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A WINTER’S RIME de Carol Dunbar

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.

by Carol Dunbar
Forge, September 2023
(via The Lark Group)

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.

Carol Dunbar is a ghostwriter of over 50 nonfiction titles, and for the last 15 years she has lived in the house that is the setting for The Net Beneath Us. Her essays about living off the grid air on Wisconsin Public Radio and her work has been published or is forthcoming in The South Carolina Review, Midwestern Gothic, The Midwest Review, Literary Mama, Great Lakes Review, and others. In 2018 she won the Hal Prize for fiction and an earlier draft of this novel was a 2013 finalist for the Dana Award.