Review: Road Out of Winter by Alison Stine

I’m happy to be participating in a blog tour for Alison Stine’s fascinating dystopian cli-fi novel, Road Out of Winter, today! I really enjoyed this book, and I’m excited to share my thoughts.

What it’s about:

From the publisher’s book summary:

Surrounded by poverty and paranoia her entire life, Wil has been left behind in her small Appalachian town by her mother and her best friend. Not only is she tending her stepfather’s illegal marijuana farm alone, but she’s left to watch the world fall further into chaos in the face of a climate crisis brought on by another year of unending winter. So opens Alison Stine’s moving and lyrical cli-fi novel, ROAD OUT OF WINTER (MIRA Trade; September 1, 2020; $17.99).

About the author:

ALISON STINE lives in the rural Appalachian foothills. A recipient of an Individual Artist Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), she was a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University. She has written for The Atlantic, The Nation, The Guardian, and many others. She is a contributing editor with the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.

Alison Stine’s Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @AlisonStine

Instagram: @AliStineWrites

Goodreads

My thoughts about the book:

I found this book to be unputdownable. It’s very dark, gritty, and sad—perhaps even a little too realistic, which makes it even scarier. People have been adapting to the obviously accelerating climate changes around them, but as it becomes evident that spring isn’t going to come, panic sets in and the whole fabric of society begins to crumble as supply chains fail.

Alison Stine’s writing is excellent. She manages to give the reader a very real sense of dread from the beginning of the story, and the tone of the book is relentlessly matter-of-fact. The book is well-paced and wonderfully descriptive, even in its cold starkness and foreshadowing:

“I didn’t know the song they performed at what would be the last graduation ceremony, the final graduating class; the last time the platform groaned under the risers; the last time the wind tried but could not unsettle the principal’s hair, buzzed short on his flat head.”

Wil is a fantastic character: always a loner, with a sad personal history and not much joy in her life, she’s got a lovely heart and cares for her best friend, her mom, and then literal strangers she meets as the chaos sets in. She’s able to create her own family, and that part of the story is heartbreaking and beautiful.

I highly recommend this page-turner dystopian to any fan of the genre. It’s brutal and intense, but it has moments of hope and joy. A truly good read.

Road Out of Winter will be available on September 1, 2020 from Mira Books.

Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s

Thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and Alison Stine for an ARC in exchange for my honest review, and thank you to Lia Ferrone at Harlequin Trade Publishing for the opportunity to participate in the blog tour.

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