Part survial story, part love story, part survivalstory Wintering is totally engrossing. It is set in northern Minnesota in the fictional town of Gunflint along the shore of Lake Superior. Though the story covers about 60 years in the history of the family and the town most of it takes place during one late fall, early winter when 18 year old Gus' father takes him into relatively unmapped wilderness. What begins as a sort of father/son trek rapidly turns into an ordeal of survival. Gus relates this story to the woman who was his father's lover and the caretaker of his grandmother. She in turn enlightens Gus on the missing parts of his family history. Beautifully written, full of incredible description of life.
— From Michael
June 2016 Indie Next List
“It is tempting to inhale Wintering in a great rush because it is such a suspenseful, wild, and dangerous survival story. That would be a mistake. Geye magically conveys the starkness, beauty, and despair of the northern Minnesota borderlands in prose that deserves to be savored. He gives us characters with deep, complex interior lives, who struggle with secrets, love, and damaged relationships. A powerful father-son story and a landscape revealed in breathtaking detail make this a novel to read with care and wonder.”
— Tripp Ryder, Content Bookstore, Northfield, MN
A highly acclaimed novelist now gives us a true epic: a love story that spans sixty years, generations' worth of feuds, and secrets withheld and revealed.
The two principal stories at play in Wintering
are bound together when the elderly, demented Harry Eide escapes his sickbed and vanishes into the forbidding, northernmost wilderness that surrounds the town of Gunflint, Minnesota--instantly changing the Eide family, and many other lives, forever. He'd done this once before, more than thirty years earlier in 1963, fleeing a crumbling marriage and bringing along Gustav, his eighteen-year-old son, pitching this audacious, potentially fatal scheme--winter already coming on, in these woods, on these waters--as a reenactment of the ancient voyageurs' journeys of discovery.
It's certainly something Gus has never forgotten, nor the Devil's Maw of a river, a variety of beloved (possibly fantastical) maps, the ice floes and waterfalls (neither especially appealing from a canoe), a magnificent bear, the endless portages, a magical abandoned shack, Thanksgiving and Christmas improvised at the far end of the earth, the brutal cold and sheer beauty of it all. And men hunting other men.
Now--with his father pronounced dead--Gus relates their adventure in vivid detail to Berit Lovig, who'd spent much of her life waiting for Harry, her passionate conviction finally fulfilled over the last two decades. So, a middle-aged man rectifying his personal history, an aging lady wrestling with her own, and with the entire saga of a town and region they'd helped to form and were in turn formed by, relentlessly and unforgettably.