A mother who risks everything to start over and a daughter whose longings threaten to undo them both.
From the moment Ruth Sanders rips a glossy photo of a glacier from a magazine, she believes her fate is intertwined with the ice. Her unsettling fascination bewilders her daughter, 16-year-old Sylvie, still shaken by her father’s leaving. When Ruth uproots Sylvie and her sister from their small Midwestern town to follow her growing obsession - and a man - to Alaska, they soon find themselves entangled with an unfamiliar wilderness, a divided community, and one another. As passions cross and braid, the bond between mother and daughter threatens to erode from the pressures of icy compulsion and exposed secrets.
Inspired by her own experience arriving by bush plane to live on the Alaska tundra, Deb Vanasse vividly captures the reality of life in Alaska and the emotional impact of loving a remote and unforgiving land.
"Grabs you from the opening line and never lets go" ~ Publishers Weekly
"Captures the harsh beauty of the terrain as well as the strain of self-doubt and complicated family bonds." ~ Booklist
"Vanasse is talented: she can turn ordinary words into the sublime...Readers who enjoy richly drawn characters trying to make sense of their surroundings will enjoy this cool and refreshing, yet haunting, glimpse of flawed souls." ~Foreword Review
"Cold Spell is Greek tragedy. From the very first pages, these lives are out of control. You'll care for Sylvie, and also her mother Ruth, and you'll want them not to hurt each other, but of course they will." ~ David Vann, author of Legends of a Suicide and Goat Mountain
"Vanasse folds landscape into a human story-scape with such honesty that I found myself suddenly distrustful of the usual writerly approaches to nature...As I finished the novel, I kept catching myself wanting to crawl into her brain, stake out a cozy corner, and keep watching life unfold through her eyes. I'm buying several copies for friends. ~ Cindy Dyson, author of And She Was
"In subtle, careful prose, Vanasse explores what lures the so-called newbie to Alaska--from the myth to the very real magic of the wild--and, at the same time, creates a sensitive portrait of a family on the verge of falling apart. Poignant and compelling." Leigh Newman, author of Still Points North