Sometimes you come across a book that pulls you in from every angle. It offers you the space to explore your own fears and hopes all while taking you on a perilous adventure into the unknown with a character you feel you’ve met in real life. That’s a good novel, to me. That’s Alison Stine’s Road Out of Winter: An Apocalyptic Thriller (Mira Books, 2020).
In the novel, Wylodine is a marijuana farmer watching everyone she loves leave her small town. As climate change has devastated her world, she chooses to find her own way out of Appalachia. What she finds along the way is more than new faces to call family, more than new freedom and strength, despite the snow and hard earth, she finds a way to grow.
Described as “Urgent and poignant, Road Out of Winter is a glimpse of an all-too-possible near future.” Listen in as Ali and I talk about Wylodine’s dystopia, our own pandemic-strained year, and the writerly life.
And check out Appalachian singer-songwriter Liz Pahl’s song, “Wylodine,” inspired by the novel.
Ellee Achten is a writer and editor exploring issues of home, health, memory, and attachment. She writes everything from magazine features to lyrical memoir to sci-fi novels. She is currently working on many projects, including a collection of essays about the traumatic connection between the body and mind. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.