Welcome to another installment of If My Book, the Monkeybicycle feature in which authors shed light on their recently released books by comparing them to weird things. This week Anne Leigh Parrish writes about her new novel, A Winter Night, out now from Unsolicited Press.
If A Winter Night were a box of chocolates, the assortment would be heavy on syrupy fruit and nuts, because protagonist Angie finds that flavor palette divine. She fancies herself a disciplined aesthetic, dedicated to her job as a social worker, and living a simple, orderly life. In fact, she’s all over the place, falling in love at the drop of a hat, getting crushed, and drowning her sorrow in decadent snacks.
If A Winter Night were a bouquet, the flowers in the arrangement would be pink roses, white carnations, baby’s breath, and a thistle. Angie tells herself she’ll never walk down the aisle, yet can’t help wanting to. The thistle is her current love interest, Matt, who tests her at every turn. He’s not as honest as he might be, especially in the matter of a former girlfriend and his fondness for cocaine. As the roses and carnations in Angie’s bouquet wilt, the thistle in the vase stands tall and strong.
If A Winter Night were a famous painting, it would be Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. It’s always hard to tell if Angie is happy or not because she wears a mask of calm and quiet efficiency. The murky background behind her represents her doubts and misgivings, and the slight lift to her lips show us how hard she’s trying not to give in to despair.
If A Winter Night were a bottle of red wine, it would come from California, although New York State, where the story is placed, produces some good vintages. Angie has stuck close to home in her thirty-four years, and while she can’t see herself living anywhere else, her constant restlessness makes travel attractive. She craves a lovely bottle of merlot, not cabernet because merlot is heavier and richer, and offers a more intense flavor. Angie is intense, which is why Matt is drawn to her in the first place. If they ever make a go of it, and see a future together, she might exchange the bottle of Merlot for a bottle of champagne. Domestic champagne, again from California. French champagne would take her too far out of her comfort zone.
Anne Leigh Parrish’s new novel, A Winter Night, and the next installment in her popular Dugan Families series arrives in March 2021 from Unsolicited Press. Previous titles are: What nell Dreams Maggie’s Ruse; The Amendment; Women Within; By The wayside; What Is Found, What Is Lost; Our Love Could Light The World; and All The Roads That Lead From Home. She lives in the South Sound Region of Washington State.