Poetic, harrowing, knowing and keenly observed, “The Northern Reach” has much to recommend it. Winslow is off to a creditable start as a novelist. Her vision of the past and its consequences for the present are achingly familiar, yet still freshly unique.
Portland Press Herald, Portland, Maine
The Northern Reach will appeal to neither the fragile nor the humorless, but it offers moving rewards for those who appreciate literary fiction rendered with assurance.
Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star and Richmond Times-Dispatch
Lovely, melancholy…for admirers of serious literary fiction.
Winslow has obvious skill with turns of phrase and her many descriptions of the cold environs along the coast. She is masterful at detailing the physical surroundings of her characters and equally masterful at chiseling away at their inner-souls, deepest fears and troubled silences. The rhythm of her prose sings as it meanders between these physical and emotional worlds.
The Northern Reach is a strong debut from a novelist with a wondrous sense of place and a fine skill at detailing small family dramas that seem tremendous in the moment. Winslow is an expert crafter of lives lived and lives interconnected.
John Saltes, Hollywood Soapbox
All the more impressive when considering that “The Northern Reach” is author W. S. Winslow’s debut as a novelist, her genuine flair for the kind of narrative storytelling style that fully entertains and engages the reader’s attention bodes well for establishing her as a literary figure to watch for. Exceptionally well crafted against an inherently fascinating and varied social/culture background…especially and unreservedly recommended. Midwest Book Review
This novel interrogates legacies as deep and fractured, and as bleak and full of heart as the state of Maine, where this story takes place. Poverty, religion, silences, boatbuilding, and domestic violence, all on the rocky shores of the coast and driven by memorable characters who feel genuine to Maine lives, this is a story of reckoning both beautiful and despairing. Kerri Arsenault, Author of Mill Town
Is there anything better than getting to walk through a small and unfamiliar town and peer through the windows into the lives lived in the houses there? “The Northern Reach” gives you that rich and satisfying treat. In the tradition of “Winesburg, Ohio” and “Olive Kittredge,” beneath the weight of silence and snow, of generations of family secrets –those told and those kept — the interlocking lives of Wellbridge, Maine play out across time and in one long fantastic story, across death. Here is a Maine as various and stark as the pull of tides in every human heart.
Sarah Blake, Author of The Guest Book
If Johnny Cash had sung of New England, he might have envisioned these sweeping, haunted, hilarious and sad tales of WS Winslow’s. Four families, fatally entwined, duke it out over a century in “The Northern Reach” while time does its hard work on them. This is a devastating book by a major storyteller.
John Freeman, Author of Dictionary of the Undoing
There should be a term for that rare, specific pleasure when a writer takes you to a place you’ve never been and by the time the book is finished you feel like you know the landscape and its people as well as you do your own, that town’s winter’s cold now seeped into your own bones, its ghosts haunting your dreams, its romances ripe enough to make you blush and remember your own lost pleasures. WS Winslow’s debut novel is such a book, her clear-eyed vision of a small town in Maine is both steely and humane, and as transporting as a ticket home.
Helen Schulman, Author of Come with Me