cover image All the Winters After

All the Winters After

Sere Prince Halverson. Sourcebooks Landmark, $24.99 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-1535-4

In Halverson’s absorbing second novel (after The Underside of Joy), a pair of damaged introverts find love and healing in a remote corner of Alaska. After a layoff and a breakup, Kachemak Winkel has left Austin, Tex., for his family’s homestead near Caboose, Ala., which he has not been to since a plane crash killed his parents and brother 20 years ago. Kache dreads revisiting the cabin where he grew up, expecting to find a pile of rubble. To his surprise, he finds it in perfect condition and unexpectedly occupied by Nadia, who fled an abusive marriage and a nearby religious enclave. She’s been hiding in the cabin for the past 10 years with no companions but a dog and Kache’s mother’s journals. As Nadia and Kache strike up a tentative friendship, Kache rediscovers his long-dormant musical talent, delights in coaxing Nadia out into the bigger world, and begins to let go of the tragedy in his past. But there are obstacles, particularly Nadia’s ex-husband, who has a score to settle. Although Nadia seems too well-adjusted for an ex-fundamentalist who’s lived in complete isolation for a decade, and Kache could use a few more flaws, their love story is engaging, and the spectacular setting and delightful supporting cast infuse the plot with vitality. A surprise ending is a perfect capper to this unorthodox romance. Agent: Elizabeth Weed, the Book Group. (Jan.)