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Season of Water and Ice by Donald Lystra
  

Synopsis

Season of Water and Ice by Donald Lystra

This is the 1950s rural northern Michigan coming-of-age tale. Set in 1957 in rural northern Michigan, Season of Water and Ice is the story of a pivotal few months in the life of young teen Danny DeWitt, who lives alone with his father following the sudden departure of his mother. Bookish and relatively friendless, Danny becomes acquainted with Amber, a pregnant teenager abandoned by her boyfriend and rejected by her family. Both outsiders - one because of disposition, the other because of social stigma - Danny and Amber form an unusual, openhearted alliance that helps each deal with their separate challenges. Their friendship is tested when Amber's abusive boyfriend returns and Danny's mother withdraws more permanently from her family, leading eventually to a crisis that threatens Amber and her unborn child, as well as Danny's concept of love and manhood. Danny struggles to understand himself and the confusing and, at times, frightening world in which he lives. His analytically oriented mind attempts to make sense of the rigid stereotypes of the 1950s and highlights his progressive attitude toward social issues of the era. Danny straddles the uncertain gap between childhood and adulthood in this novel that is underscored by themes of independence and obligation, love and sexuality, courage and surrender. Season of Water and Ice will appeal to both adult and young-adult readers, particularly those who enjoy realistic, coming-of-age works. Excerpt - 'What would you do up here all by yourself?' I asked my father. He was leaning back against the counter, his arms crossed, the cigarette held off at an odd angle, like a girl. He brought the cigarette up to his lips and took a deep swallow of smoke. 'I suspect I'd do what I'm doing right now, Danny, trying to scratch out a livelihood in the north woods of Michigan.' He started to raise the cigarette up to his lips but he stopped halfway. 'Which may be another way of saying I'd try to tilt at windmills.' I didn't know what 'tilt at windmills' meant and I didn't really care. But I was beginning to understand that my father could sometimes use words to keep the truth away, rather than to bring it closer.

Reviews

Season of Water and Ice has a heart big enough to be toh gentle and unflinching, a masterly story powered by a young narrator uniquely wise and blinded. Read this wonderful book, fall into it, and it will change you. Nick Arvin, author of Articles of War

A poignant coming-of-age story told in vivid language evoking both the time period and the particular Northern Michigan setting. Shaun Manning, founding editor of From Glasgow to Saturn,

a literary e-magazine

Let's not mistake Season of Water and Ice for a typical coming-of-age novel. Its voice is too rich, its pacing too measured and elegant, its ending too richly sad. Donaly Lystra has written a fierce and tender debut novel about the unreliability of love. John Dalton, author of Heaven Lake

Destined to become a classic coming of age story. Lystra's style is spare and direct and yet profoundly evocative in a way seldom realized by today's writers.An absolutely stunning debut.

The Pioneer

[A] soulful debut novel. The story effectively captures the uncertainty of adolescence, and Lystra's graceful prose is evolcative of place and time. A rich and satisfying read.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

The prose style is plain, clear, and even Hemingwayesque. Season of Water and Ice is a northwoods odyssey into manhood that is timeless and true. John H. Smolens, Northern Michigan University

The prose style is plain, clear, and even Hemingwayesque. Season of Water and Ice is a northwoods odyssey into manhood that is timeless and true. --John H. Smolens, Northern Michigan University Destined to become a classic coming of age story. Lystra's style is spare and direct and yet profoundly evocative in a way seldom realized by today's writers. An absolutely stunning debut. - The Pioneer

[A] soulful debut novel. The story effectively captures the uncertainty of adolescence, and Lystra's graceful prose is evolcative of place and time. A rich and satisfying read. - The Cleveland Plain Dealer


About the Author

Donald Lystra'sstories have appeared in many publications, and his work has received Special Mention in the Pushcart Prize anthology. He is a recipient of writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the MacDowell Colony. A retired consulting engineer, Mr. Lystra and his wife divide their time between Ann Arbor and a farm in northern Michigan. This is his first novel.

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Book Info

Publication date

15th May 2009

Author

Donald Lystra

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Publisher

Northern Illinois University Press

Format

Paperback
240 pages

Categories

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780875806280

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