cover of book

Season of Water and Ice
by Donald Lystra
Northern Illinois University Press, 2009
Paper: 978-0-87580-628-0 | eISBN: 978-1-60909-001-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3612.Y74S43 2009
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.6


Set in 1957 in rural northern Michigan, Season of Water and Ice is the story of a pivotal few months in the life of young teen Danny DeWitt, who lives alone with his father following the sudden departure of his mother. Bookish and relatively friendless, Danny becomes acquainted with Amber, a pregnant teenager abandoned by her boyfriend and rejected by her family. Both outsiders—one because of disposition, the other because of social stigma—Danny and Amber form an unusual, openhearted alliance that helps each deal with their separate challenges.

Their friendship is tested when Amber’s abusive boyfriend returns and Danny’s mother withdraws more permanently from her family, leading eventually to a crisis that threatens Amber and her unborn child, as well as Danny’s concept of love and manhood.

Danny struggles to understand himself and the confusing and, at times, frightening world in which he lives. His analytically oriented mind attempts to make sense of the rigid stereotypes of the 1950s, revealing startling truths about the abiding issues of love and family and the dangers to which these ideals are continually exposed.

Danny straddles the uncertain gap between childhood and adulthood in this novel that is underscored by themes of independence and obligation, love and sexuality, courage and surrender. This realistic work will appeal to both adult and young adult readers.

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