A Boy in Winter: A Novel

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Crown, 1999 - Fiction - 241 pages
3 Reviews
A Boy in Winter takes the stuff of newspaper headlines and explores, in a taut, deeply moving narrative, the human passions behind it.
After Nancy Horvath and her eleven-year-old son, Danny, move into their dream house, Danny becomes fast friends with ten-year-old Eddie Nova, the boy next door. Eddie is a hyperactive, difficult child, both boon companion and bane of Danny's existence. Meanwhile, Nancy's helpful, neighborly relationship with Eddie's father, Frank, becomes a passionate affair. Frank is the partner Nancy wishes she had, and the father Danny has always longed for. Then one day, Eddie brings over a hunting bow and playfully aims it at Danny and his dog. In a tragic mishap, Danny accidentally shoots and kills his friend.
The novel traces the repercussions of that accident--in Nancy's voice, in Danny's voice, and from Frank's point of view. Danny's extraordinary account of the events that led up to the action is a heartbreaking, pitch-perfect record of the complications of love, the weight of isolation, and the ultimate opacity of intention and motivation. How Nancy's fierce, enduring love for her son sustains a future for him and how Frank's devastating loss and guilt play into that future provide drama-tic counterpoint to Danny's painful dissection of what he has done.
With stunning imagination and an almost sculptural elegance of storytelling, Maxine Cher-noff balances the radical shock of tragedy with the hard-won optimism of survival. She brilliantly enacts how a child stunned by grief and the adults who love him reclaim their trust in the future. Ultimately, A Boy in Winter testifies to the power of parental love and steadfast friendship toprovide hope and faith in the face of tragedy.

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Review: A Boy in Winter

User Review  - Fiona - Goodreads

The beginning and middle were a bit boring, but the ending had a good twist to it. Read full review

Review: A Boy in Winter

User Review  - itpdx - Goodreads

A beautifully written introspective novel about people coming to terms with a tragedy. The story is told from the points of view of a single mother, whose son accidentally kills a friend, the son and ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Maxine Chernoff has won many awards for her ten books of poetry and fiction, including a Carl Sandburg Award, a PEN Syndicated Fiction Award, and a Sun-Times/Friends of Literature Award. A Chicago native, she and her husband, the poet Paul Hoover, and their three children live in Northern California, where she teaches at San Francisco State University.

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