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.
After reading this book, I couldn't forget it. The author really pulls you in, making you feel like your sitting right there. I loved Danny, he is a gentle, sweet boy, so curious about everything and so confused. He befriends a pregnant girl who lives next door and tries to help her but she's so confused they end up helping each other.
The end takes a twist that you don't see coming. I loved the story and highly recommend it!
"You know what I think?" she said, and she spoke as if she hadn't even heard my question. "We are sort of the same. You were right about that. We're both outsiders." I wasn't exactly sure what she meant about being an outsider- even though that was sort of how I felt about myself. But it was nice to hear her say we had something in common...
About the author Donald Lystra:
Raised in various cities and small towns around Michigan, Donald Lystra received degrees in electrical engineering and sociology from the University of Michigan. He worked for many years 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.
Questions and answer from Mr. Lystra's website: