Title: A Cold Spring
Pages: 305
ISBN13: 978-1565123144



From the outside, Amity looked like any other New England town: creeks trickling through the mountains, old clapboard houses set off unpaved mountain roads, night sounds that were nothing more than the occasional hoot of an owl – just the kind of place Nell and Billy thought could revive their crumbling marriage. But the tranquil town is actually more like a powder keg ready to blow. Nell and Billy set in motion a chain of events that touches everyone.


“…brilliantly constructed…Ziesk creates memorable characters, sets them in motion and creates just enough suspense to keep you reading eagerly along… Ziesk is fluent at packing meaning into the spaces between the lines.”
-New York Newsday

“Ziesk’s spare sentences work quietly, melting the frozen landscape to reveal complex life beneath.”
-Boston Magazine

“…the potent and lyrical prose is consistently fine: Ziesk’s powers of observation and insight are formidable. She renders each scene with meticulous detail, allowing her characters to reveal themselves as the tensions among them escalate.”
-Publishers Weekly

“Ziesk’s second novel…is a marvel of economy, with its spare prose style and narrative that omits whatever isn’t absolutely necessary…Here, suggestion suffices, creating a lovely, haunting novel.”

“Edra Ziesk keeps up suspense and a grim aura of foreboding. We know someone is bound to be killed; we know someone will end up a killer, but in each case we don’t know who…Nathaniel Hawthorne and Edith Wharton would have loved this book.”
-The Washington Post

“Ziesk [has] an eye for the lovely and the strange…She has woven accident and motive into a tangle of anxiety, fear and hope for her cast of characters.”
-Los Angeles Times

“Because of her deft and compassionate character descriptions, we come to care for the people in Ziesk’s story. And her ingenious plotting means that once we start reading about them, our own anxiety and concern for their welfare keep us reading. Ziesk’s use of language and imagery is complex, arresting and emotionally vibrant. Clearly, we’re in the hands of a master.”
-Barre Times Argus

“The strength and power of Ziesk’s fiction lies in the accuracy and authenticity she creates in space and time. The landscape, the physicality of Vermont is real.”
-The Eagle

“Ziesk takes us into a rural town and the woods of a mountain in southern Vermont. The prose is delicious…It’s lovely to walk with a writer gifted in observation and lean, colloquial syntax.”
-Providence RI Journal

“… a tremendous talent for character creation and development.”
-Rain Taxi

“[the characters] I met on the pages of Edra Ziesk’s novel A Cold Spring are indelibly marked on my brain…She’s created the kind of characters readers would follow anywhere.”
-January Magazine

“Ziesk writes with a deep love for language and nuance and an insightful understanding of how the impact everyday decisions we make ripple throughout lives.”
-Spectator Online

“…this beautifully written novel is a story of the roads we see and the ones we don’t, and of those moments when lives suddenly change direction.”
-Style Weekly, Richmond, VA

“She makes it impossible to stop reading her novel or to keep from cheering her characters on. Edra Ziesk has spun them and their dangerous, enchanted world out of language that shimmers and stings.”
-Frederick Busch


It was just dawn. The mist was thick and low and covered the road like a gauze tent. Inside, the house was almost totally dark, the shapes of solids – furniture, doors – thickened calluses of shadow. Lenny lay with her eyes open waiting for the invisible transition, the moment she could say it had begun to be light. She would not get up until then.
But Jody, her grandson, was awake and out, it was Jody who had woken Lenny or it was Lois, their dog, whining from behind the door when Jody went out and left her. The whine was quiet, a thread of sound, as if the dog knew Lenny was asleep and did not want to wake her.