$18.95 CDN / $17.95 US | Trade Paperback
New fiction from the author of Want
The Winter-Blooming Tree draws us into the lives of Ursula Koehl-Niederhauser, a school teacher suffering from lapses of memory who is convinced that she has dementia; Andreas, her charming, well-intentioned but somewhat self-absorbed husband; and their grown daughter, Mia, who is about to move home after bouncing all over the country, trying to find herself as a journalist. Distracted by thoughts and memories of the winter-blooming apple tree in her laundry room, Ursula misses the neurologist’s diagnosis and becomes convinced she is falling ill. Andreas, certain that she is fine, refuses to worry her with his own work and health problems. Mia, caught up with her own situation, has no idea that her parents are struggling and can’t understand why her mother, especially, is behaving so badly. The Winter-Blooming Tree delves into the dissonance between family members and how sometimes pride is the only thing standing between those we love and the stories we tell ourselves.
Praise for The Winter-Blooming Tree:
Lyrical, sassy, and wry, The Winter-Blooming Tree is an intimate, poignant rendering of a ‘cold season’ in a marriage of many years. Langhorst portrays her characters’ inner lives and daily tussles with life’s challenges during a flashpoint of familial crisis with compassion and warmth. The Winter-Blooming Tree is also a story of the north. The novel’s lush, sensory world with its “tall dark spruce,” “waving pines,” “pale ribs of aspen and papery birch” and forests in which “deer and foxes slipped by, brief shadows in sunlight” offers much reading pleasure. A rich meditation on memory, and how past trauma and grief figure in the present; set against this, and woven poetically throughout, is forgiveness, and hope. Langhorst’s characters and their world will stay with me for a long time. A totally absorbing read.—Jeanette Lynes, author of The Small Things That End the World & The Factory Voice
The Winter-Blooming Tree takes us into a household of missed communications and misread silences. At the heart of the story is Ursula, who’s sealed herself off emotionally from those who love her and even, heartbreakingly, from herself. In shining prose, this brave novel makes a close exploration of a troubled family, and of one woman’s fear and confusion as she struggles to understand the layers of her own psyche. Like Ursula and her family, readers will feel the tension of standing at the water’s edge, readying themselves for a bracing dive.—Leona Theis, author of If Sylvie Had Nine Lives