Here with the Winter

J. Penrod Scott
Archway Publishing (2021)
ISBN 9781665705233
Reviewed by Lily Andrews for Reader Views (01/2022)

“Here with the Winter” introduces readers to Jessie Conrad, a young widow who lost her husband in a truck accident. Set in the 1960s, in Ohio, the story follows Jessie and her two children as she heads back to her home town of West Emmette to rebuild her life in the new area of Meadow Drive. As they begin adjusting to a new schedule and new neighbors, Jessie relies on her father’s wisdom and support.

Her father is Henry Marshall Hall. A clock repairer, Henry is also involved in a fateful accident after an unlikely visitor returns to claim a gun that was once given to him by a friend. Readers are further introduced to Jessie’s neighbors, and some of their stories, even as the author gives Jessie center stage.

The prose is beautiful and easy to follow. The tone is gentle, warm, and highlights the rhythm of everyday life in different seasons. Jessie is a likable protagonist and her love for her young family is admirable. The author uses Henry as a representation of the historic and modern times of Ohio. Then further utilizes the character to give readers a glimpse into the rich history of the state.

“Here with the Winter” captures the themes of friendship, new beginnings, family, and the gifts of Mother Nature poetically. I found the characters to be memorable and believable. By occasionally inserting epistolary interludes, the text offers additional information on all who dwell in West Emmette, mainly on Meadow Drive, expanding the plot in general. The simple focus is set on family-friendly text, and keen readers will tap into a few lessons, as well. The dialog is extremely engaging and gives readers a sense of the myriad of unique personalities, quirks, and views these characters own.

The tale will have you experiencing happiness, laughter, sadness, heartache, and every emotion in between. “Here with the Winter” is one book that will resonate well with readers who love tranquil plots that do not delve into strong dramatic content.

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