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The Center of Winter

The Center of Winter Cover

ISBN13: 9780060192266
ISBN10: 0060192267
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

"I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. to finish The Center of Winter, the moving story of a family dealing with a tragic suicide."
Recommended by Brodie, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

At the center of winter, in Motley, Minnesota, Arnold Schiller gives in to the oppressive season that reigns outside and also to his own inner demons — he commits suicide, leaving a devastated family in his wake.

Claire Schiller, wife and mother, takes shelter from the emotional storm with her husband's parents but must ultimately emerge from her grief and help her two young children to recover. Esau, her oldest, is haunted by the same darkness that plagued his father. At twelve years old, he has already been in and out of state psychiatric hospitals, and now, with the help of his mother and sister, he must overcome the forces that drive him deep into himself. But as the youngest, perhaps it is Katie who carries the heaviest burden. A precocious six-year-old who desperately wants to help her mother hold the family together, she will have to come to terms with the memory of her father, who was at once loving and cruel.

Narrated alternately by Claire, Katie, and Esau, this powerful and passionate novel explores the ways in which both children and adults experience tragic events, discover solace and hope in one another, and survive. The Center of Winter finds humor in unlikely places and evokes the north — its people and landscape — with warmth, sensitivity, and insight. The story of three people who, against all odds, find their way out of the center of winter, Marya Hornbacher's debut novel will leave you breathless, tearful, and ultimately inspired.

Review:

"'When someone killed himself, it was a waste. No one ever said so, but we knew. My father will kill himself. It will be a waste,' says Kate Schiller, recalling her gloomy early years from the vantage point of adulthood. In this moving, occasionally maudlin, debut novel by the author of the memoir Wasted, the Schiller family of smalltown Motley, Minn., is plagued by death: the suicide of six-year-old Kate's Aunt Rose, who hangs herself from the chandelier, is town gossip, and Kate's father, Arnold, is heading toward a similar end. He's unemployed, a charming drunk, obsessed with the descent of Kate's older brother, 12-year-old Esau, into mental illness. When Esau must be taken away to the state hospital at Christmas, Arnold shoots himself in the head. Hornbacher's novel, narrated in the alternating voices of Kate, Esau and their mother, Claire, is the story of the family's response to Arnold's death: how sweet, tormented Esau copes with the news; whether stubborn Kate could have said something to stop her father; how Claire deals with the guilt of having wanted to leave her husband. Hornbacher is a gifted writer, skilled at capturing the intense sensations of childhood and possessed of a particular talent for dialogue, but the indiscriminate ratcheting up of emotion and large doses of wise-child winsomeness give the novel a precious edge. Agent, Sydelle Kramer at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency. 8-city author tour. (Feb. 1) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"With this stunning debut novel, Hornbacher, who inevitably will be compared to Alice Sebold, proves herself to be a master storyteller." Booklist, Starred Review

Review:

"The author of the acclaimed memoir Wasted has created a gripping tale of a family that copes despite the odds." Library Journal

Synopsis:

From the author of the acclaimed memoir "Wasted" comes a powerful debut novelabout family, tragedy, and love.

About the Author

Marya Hornbacher is a Senior Editor at Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine as well as Adjunct Professor of creative writing at the University of Minnesota. During the winter, 2004 semester, she will be a Fellow at Morse College, Yale University, responsible for teaching classes and lecturing at the university. The Center of Winter is her first novel. She lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Cheryl Marseilles, September 3, 2006 (view all comments by Cheryl Marseilles)
If you have ever dealed with a suicide, you will want to read this book. Putting this book down was not an option for me, as I wanted to know how anyone could cope!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060192266
Subtitle:
A Novel
Publisher:
Harper
Author:
Hornbacher, Marya
Subject:
General
Subject:
General Fiction
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20050201
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.30x6.42x1.08 in. 1.28 lbs.

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Center of Winter
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 336 pages HarperCollins Publishers - English 9780060192266 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

"I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. to finish The Center of Winter, the moving story of a family dealing with a tragic suicide."

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'When someone killed himself, it was a waste. No one ever said so, but we knew. My father will kill himself. It will be a waste,' says Kate Schiller, recalling her gloomy early years from the vantage point of adulthood. In this moving, occasionally maudlin, debut novel by the author of the memoir Wasted, the Schiller family of smalltown Motley, Minn., is plagued by death: the suicide of six-year-old Kate's Aunt Rose, who hangs herself from the chandelier, is town gossip, and Kate's father, Arnold, is heading toward a similar end. He's unemployed, a charming drunk, obsessed with the descent of Kate's older brother, 12-year-old Esau, into mental illness. When Esau must be taken away to the state hospital at Christmas, Arnold shoots himself in the head. Hornbacher's novel, narrated in the alternating voices of Kate, Esau and their mother, Claire, is the story of the family's response to Arnold's death: how sweet, tormented Esau copes with the news; whether stubborn Kate could have said something to stop her father; how Claire deals with the guilt of having wanted to leave her husband. Hornbacher is a gifted writer, skilled at capturing the intense sensations of childhood and possessed of a particular talent for dialogue, but the indiscriminate ratcheting up of emotion and large doses of wise-child winsomeness give the novel a precious edge. Agent, Sydelle Kramer at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency. 8-city author tour. (Feb. 1) " Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "With this stunning debut novel, Hornbacher, who inevitably will be compared to Alice Sebold, proves herself to be a master storyteller."
"Review" by , "The author of the acclaimed memoir Wasted has created a gripping tale of a family that copes despite the odds."
"Synopsis" by , From the author of the acclaimed memoir "Wasted" comes a powerful debut novelabout family, tragedy, and love.
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