"The Winter Loon is a compelling story of a woman's secrets, choices, and courage. Both tender and wise, Henriksen is a fine storyteller and her characters are skillfully drawn and memorable."
~Sandra Butler, award-winning writer, group facilitator and activist. sandrabutler.net. motheringdaughters.net.
"The Winter Loon is an ambitious, gripping, often painful story with a lot of drama and emotion, ups and downs and an ending that leaves the reader in satisfying tears."
"What a beautiful, thoughtful book. The Winter Loon offers up complex characters and issues, a multi-textured plot and lots of heart. I have felt wrapped in the cocoon of this beautiful love story."
From the Author
This fictional story is inspired by my mother, who died when I was nine and who had divulged very little information about her life, refusing even to answer any questions about my biological father. Estranged from her parents, brother, and uncles, she moved across the country from the Midwest to California, ending up in a remote area of the Mojave Desert far from the nearest town. From my earliest memories, the two of us lived as a family with her woman companion until shortly before her death. Some of the things she left behind were a few photos, a newspaper clipping of her as a rodeo competitor, and her master's degree certificate from the 1930s.
When I started writing, my purpose of embarking on a healing journey gradually transformed into this novel about a young woman who struggles to define herself in a world where she does not seem to fit. As I envisioned how my mother's life might have been if she was able to live her authentic truth, I realized how much, and how little, has changed for the LGBTQ community. It is my hope that this story about the healing power of love will positively influence anyone who reads it.