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SEASON OF WATER AND ICE is the unforgettable story of two young people confronting life during a tumultuous few months of 1957. In quiet but searing prose, it explores the timeless issues of love and family, the destructive forces to which these ideals are exposed, and the healing powers which can restore them.

Danny DeWitt, aged fourteen, lives with his father in a rural area of northern Michigan following the family’s abrupt move from the city and the unexplained departure of his mother. Bookish and friendless—and wanting to “stand at the side of things for a while”—Danny becomes acquainted with Amber, a pregnant teenager abandoned by her boyfriend and rejected by her family and community. Both outsiders—one by choice, the other because of social stigma—Danny and Amber form an unusual, openhearted alliance which helps each to deal with their separate challenge. Amber must build a life for herself in the face of intolerance, and Danny must come to terms with his mother’s rejection and his father’s growing isolation. The friendship is tested when Amber’s abusive boyfriend returns and Danny’s mother draws further away, leading to a crisis which threatens Amber and her unborn child, as well as Danny’s conception of love and manhood.

Reflecting the political and social climate of the 1950s, Season of Water and Ice is underscored by themes of independence and obligation, love and sexuality, courage and surrender. It is a story that will stay with you.

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DONALD LYSTRA was raised in cities and small towns around Michigan and received degrees in electrical engineering and sociology from the University of Michigan. He worked on electrical power plants before beginning to write fiction in the mid-1990s. He has received creative writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and from the MacDowell Colony in Peterborough, New Hapshire, and his work was cited for Special Mention in the 2002 Pushcart Prizes. Mr. Lystra and his wife divide their time between Ann Arbor and a farm in northern Michigan. He has two grown children.Season of Water and Ice, his first novel, was the winner of the 2009 Midwest Book Award for fiction, and it was named by the Library of Michigan as a Michigan Notable Book for 2010.