top of page

Winter Light

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.


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 an extended hand.

“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, My Half of the Sky

“Winter Light is a profound, deeply moving, and relentlessly powerful novel that completely blew me away and left me grieving for more. An absolute triumph!” Grant Leishman, Readers’ Favorite


“I had to tear myself away from the book to carry on in my own life, that’s how powerful this book is. I just needed to carry on with Mary, everything else was an intrusion! A book that has stayed with me since and I feel that it will stay for a while to come yet!” Sharon Beyond Books Blog

bottom of page