|5.25 in x 8.0 in
|April 30, 2013
An uplifting story about the importance of family, the power of music, and the ever-present mercy of God.
“I could hear my heartbeat in spite of the commotion and noise. I’d never seen anything so horrible…What’s wrong with me? I thought. I knew everything had gone black and silent, but I couldn’t remember why. I could hear now, but was still surrounded by darkness.”
Gabrielle Larson is a fifteen-year-old living in Chicago with reasonable plans for her life: to follow in her parents’ footsteps as a Christian musician. But when tragedy strikes, Gabrielle finds herself forced to relocate to North Dakota, where she must learn to live with the difficult reality of her past in a strange and unfamiliar place.
Years pass as Gabrielle not only fights to accept the aftermath of what’s happened, but also to survive on a farm full of horses, cows, Uncle Will, and Aunt Bea. Enduring nature’s windstorms and the loneliness of grief, she struggles to heal, and even finds herself face-to-face with the possibility of love in the most unexpected place. But the darkness is real and her heartache profound—will she ever emerge from the noisy past to catch the redemptive tune of the present?
“Ostensibly, Woiwode weaves a tender, slow-burning story of death, grief, and rebirth, but really, it’s her intoxicating love-letter descriptions of a windswept North Dakotan prairie and its inhabitants that will sweep you off your feet. A moving tale about the resilience of family relationships and the power of memory, Past Darkness insists on the goodness of humankind and unravels a tale, brimming with love and hope, to prove it.”
Elissa Elliott, author, Eve: A Novel
“Beautifully haunting, sublime yet profound, Laurel Woiwode's debut novel is the truest of romances: the romance between the individual soul and the Father’s persistent love and healing.”
John L. Moore, author, The Breaking of Ezra Riley, Take the Reins, and Bitter Roots
“A profound story of sudden, devastating loss and the tenuous, graceful process of healing and redemption. The characters who move through this powerful first novel are as complex or nuanced as the people who move through our lives; you will remember Gabrielle Larson, Uncle Will, Aunt Bea, and Ian Mackenzie long after you turn the final page. You will remember the places they inhabit as well. Woiwode evokes rural North Dakota with the tender confidence that comes only when a writer knows the shape of a place as well as she knows the shape of her hand. From one lucid sentence to the next, she illuminates the intimate mysteries of the natural world, and invites us to share in its expansive beauty.”
Karen Halvorsen Schreck, author, While He Was Away and Sing for Me (2014)