The Ocean in Winter

By Elizabeth de Veer

Read by Emily Lawrence, Rebecca Gibel, and Gabra Zackman

As low as $7.99 Regular Price $9.99

The lives of the three Emery sisters were changed forever when Alex, eleven at the time, found their mother drowned in the bathtub of their home. After their mother’s suicide, the girls’ father shut down emotionally, leaving Alex responsible for caring for Colleen, then eight, and little Riley, just four. Now the girls are grown and navigating different directions. Alex, a nurse, has been traveling in India and grieving her struggle to have a child; Colleen is the devoted mother of preteens in denial that her marriage is ending; and Riley has been leading what her sisters imagine to be the dream life of a successful model in New York City. Decades may have passed, but the unresolved trauma of their mother’s death still looms over them, creating distance between the sisters.Then, on a March night, a storm rages near the coast of northeastern Massachusetts. Alex sits alone in an old farmhouse she inherited from a stranger. The lights are out because of the storm; then, an unexpected knock at the door. When Alex opens it, her beautiful younger sister stands before her. Riley has long been estranged from their family, prompting Colleen to hire the private investigator from whom they’d been awaiting news. Comforted by her unexpected presence, Alex holds back her nagging questions: How had Riley found her? Wouldn’t the dirt roads have been impassable in the storm? Why did Riley insist on disappearing back into the night?After her mysterious visitation, Alex and Colleen are determined to reconcile with Riley and to face their painful past, but the closer they come to finding their missing sister, the more they fear they’ll only be left with Riley’s secrets. An unforgettable story about grief, love, and what it means to be haunted, The Ocean in Winter marks the debut of a remarkable new voice in fiction.

Full Description
Play Sample

Runtime

13h 26m

Release

07-06-21

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Literary

Runtime

13h 26m

Release

07-06-21

Abridgement

Unabridged

Genre

Fiction/Literary

Description

The lives of the three Emery sisters were changed forever when Alex, eleven at the time, found their mother drowned in the bathtub of their home. After their mother’s suicide, the girls’ father shut down emotionally, leaving Alex responsible for caring for Colleen, then eight, and little Riley, just four. Now the girls are grown and navigating different directions. Alex, a nurse, has been traveling in India and grieving her struggle to have a child; Colleen is the devoted mother of preteens in denial that her marriage is ending; and Riley has been leading what her sisters imagine to be the dream life of a successful model in New York City. Decades may have passed, but the unresolved trauma of their mother’s death still looms over them, creating distance between the sisters.

Then, on a March night, a storm rages near the coast of northeastern Massachusetts. Alex sits alone in an old farmhouse she inherited from a stranger. The lights are out because of the storm; then, an unexpected knock at the door. When Alex opens it, her beautiful younger sister stands before her. Riley has long been estranged from their family, prompting Colleen to hire the private investigator from whom they’d been awaiting news. Comforted by her unexpected presence, Alex holds back her nagging questions: How had Riley found her? Wouldn’t the dirt roads have been impassable in the storm? Why did Riley insist on disappearing back into the night?

After her mysterious visitation, Alex and Colleen are determined to reconcile with Riley and to face their painful past, but the closer they come to finding their missing sister, the more they fear they’ll only be left with Riley’s secrets. An unforgettable story about grief, love, and what it means to be haunted, The Ocean in Winter marks the debut of a remarkable new voice in fiction.

Praise

“The Ocean in Winter is my absolute favorite kind of novel: wise, beautiful, moving, sad, rich. This magical tapestry woven from the lives of three sisters trying to reconnect to each other and themselves in the wake of their mother’s death does what the best fiction should: it makes you feel less alone on the trying, miraculous journey of being alive. I cried for the last forty pages—from joy and gratitude.” Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family

“Tenderness, steel, and rage forge the relationships of three sisters in the aftermath of their mother’s suicide. The Ocean in Winter shines a light on the layers of grief which build up and reverberate for generations after a family tragedy. Author Elizabeth de Veer lays bare—with razor-sharp precision and lush writing—how in the face of family crucibles, we can collapse or become strong at the broken places.” Randy Susan Meyers, author of The Widow of Wall Street

“Three sisters, two resilient, one fragile, face their memories and pain in Elizabeth de Veer’s The Ocean in Winter, which combines exquisitely observed atmosphere with a page-turning plot.” Kathleen Gilles Seidel, author of Don’t Forget to Smile

“The Ocean in Winter is a deft and beautiful book, brilliantly crafted, thrilling, funny, and heartbreaking by turns. It’s about difficult sisters, shapeless yearnings, solitude, loss, the shadow of the past; about not knowing how to stop pretending, about losing control, about finding one another or … not. Its characters are vivid and real, their voices unmistakable. They stay with you.” Benjamin Rosenbaum, author of The Unraveling

“With sharp, tender insight, Elizabeth de Veer’s gorgeous novel lays bare the inner worlds of three sisters trying to cope with devastating, incomprehensible loss. I came to love these brave, flawed, easily recognizable characters as they reached for answers, and for each other, across some divides that could be breached and some that couldn’t. Fiercely intelligent and always engaging, de Veer does what the best novelists do: she takes the full measure of her difficult subject, and transforms it through some alchemy into hard-won wisdom and grace.” Elisabeth Elo, author of Finding Katarina M. and North of Boston

“Do we choose our memories, or do our memories choose us? That’s the central question for the three sisters in Elizabeth de Veer’s emotionally rich, incandescent debut novel. Ocean in Winter is a page-turner of a book with a family mystery at its core, and profoundly explores the ways in which women struggle to rebuild their lives after grief and trauma. You won’t want to put it down once you start.” Holly Robinson, author of Beach Plum Island and Chance Harbor

“This tale of love, loss, grief, and connections is one that could shatter your heartstrings. It is a saga of family turmoil that hints of the supernatural—a world of spirits that try to alert of danger, the past, and the way forward.” Mystery & Suspense

“A compelling portrait of a wounded family seeking a path forward. Elizabeth de Veer writes with nuanced understanding of the complexities of hurt and healing, and she knows how to tell a damn good story. Rich in dialogue, action, and a keen sense of place, The Ocean in Winter pulls the reader into the swirling vortex of three lives shaped by a family legacy that will not let them go.” Rilla Askew, author of Kind of Kin

“Wise, beautiful, moving, sad, rich…It makes you feel less alone on the trying, miraculous journey of being alive.” Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family

“The Ocean in Winter is a compelling, well-written debut with the title being more than significant for this riveting novel as it illustrates the emotions of grief, pain, and even happiness which are often synonymous with the cold, destructive, and mysterious sea.” New York Journal of Books

“Three sisters confront their past as a raging storm batters coastal Massachusetts in de Veer’s tense debut…De Veer imbues this family drama with the mysteriousness of a ghost story and the pacing of a thriller…This rousing family drama effectively captures the emotional turbulence of overcoming trauma.” Publishers Weekly

“De Veer has created here not a story of joy versus sadness, but rather a study of how sisters navigate the world after experiencing a loss that reverberates in each’s life.” Washington Independent Review of Books

See All +
Elizabeth de Veer

Author Biography

Elizabeth de Veer has a Master of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and has been admitted to writing residencies at the Jentel Artist Residency, the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts. She is a member of several writing groups, including Grub Street Writers’ Collective of Boston, the Newburyport Writers’ Group, Sisters in Crime New England, and the New Hampshire Writers’ Project. She lives in a small town in Northeast Massachusetts with her husband, daughter, and labradoodle.

Rebecca Gibel

Narrator Biography

Rebecca Gibel is an award-winning stage, television, and voice actress. The narrator of over fifty audiobooks, Rebecca is facile in a wide variety of genres. Rebecca has worked across the country at theaters such as Trinity Rep, Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Intiman Theatre, and the Arden Theatre Company. She holds a BA from the College of William & Mary and an MFA in acting from Brown University/Trinity Rep.

Gabra Zackman

Narrator Biography

Gabra Zackman is an actress, author, and narrator who has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards. She was educated at Northwestern University. A classically trained actress, she has appeared in theaters all over the country as well as on film and television.

Emily Lawrence

Narrator Biography

Emily Lawrence, an actor and writer, is passionate about bringing stories to life. Her greatest strength as a performer is her ability to bring herself to the role, creating a wide range of emotionally resonant performances that leap off the page, stage, or screen. Her favorite characters are complicated, conflicted, and still searching for their inner truths. She has narrated more than 425 audiobooks, many of which were USA Today or New York Times bestsellers, and has also worked in film, television, and theater. Born and raised in New York, she moved to Los Angeles shortly after receiving her BFA in drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. She also lived in London while studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.  Her greatest loves are acting and reading, so narrating audiobooks is a dream come true. Her other passions include traveling, LARPing, aerial circus, and chocolate.