Embers on the Wind

A Novel

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Pub Date 01 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 15 Aug 2022

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Description

The past and the present converge in this enthralling, serpentine tale of women connected by motherhood, slavery’s legacy, and histories that span centuries.

In 1850 in Massachusetts, Whittaker House stood as a stop on the Underground Railroad. It’s where two freedom seekers, Little Annie and Clementine, hid and perished. Whittaker House still stands, and Little Annie and Clementine still linger, their dreams of freedom unfulfilled.

Now a fashionably distressed vacation rental in the Berkshires, Whittaker House draws seekers of another kind: Black women who only appear to be free. Among them are Dominique, a single mother following her grand-mère’s stories to Whittaker House in search of an ancestor; Michelle, Dominique’s lover, who has journeyed to the Berkshire Mountains to heal her own traumas; and Kaye, Michelle’s sister, a seer whose visions reveal the past and future secrets of the former safehouse—along with her own.

For each of them, true liberation can come only from uncovering their connection to history—and to the spirits awaiting peace and redemption within the walls of Whittaker House.

The past and the present converge in this enthralling, serpentine tale of women connected by motherhood, slavery’s legacy, and histories that span centuries.

In 1850 in Massachusetts, Whittaker House...


A Note From the Publisher

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg is a writer, former ballet dancer, and psychotherapist specializing in depression, complex trauma, and racial identity. Lisa’s essays have appeared in Longreads, Narratively, Mamalode, the Defenders Online, and The Common. Her fiction has been published in the Piltdown Review and in Literary Mama, where Lisa received a Pushcart nomination. A born-and-raised New Yorker and a mother of two college students, Lisa now lives in Montclair, New Jersey, with her husband and dog. For more information, visit www.lisawrosenberg.com.

Lisa Williamson Rosenberg is a writer, former ballet dancer, and psychotherapist specializing in depression, complex trauma, and racial identity. Lisa’s essays have appeared in Longreads...


Advance Praise

“A vital stop along the Underground Railroad, the historic Whittaker House should be a symbol of freedom and hope. Instead, it cries and whispers into the modern era, telling stories of all that was risked and lost by those who sought refuge there. Throughout this spellbinding, heartbreaking novel, Lisa Williamson Rosenberg weaves a tapestry from the lives that are bound to one another through a singular event. As this shared history comes into focus, readers come to understand the poignant and devastating impact of one word: almost.” —Bobi Conn, author of In the Shadow of the Valley

“Lisa Williamson Rosenberg’s Embers on the Wind is a delight that will keep you turning pages to the very end. Her lyrical writing transports us from the nineteenth-century Underground Railroad to the Brooklyn of today, and in Rosenberg’s hands, the history is as vibrant as present-day life. The women in this book are searching for freedom, and luckily for us readers, they bring us along for the magical ride.” —Cary Barbor, host of NPR’s Gulf Coast Life Book Club

Embers is a story that pulls you in with richly drawn characters and a skillfully intertwined plot twist that you’ll never see coming. It’s a perfect and delightful read, entertaining from beginning to shocking end.” —Dawn Porter, award-winning film producer and director of John Lewis: Good Trouble

“A gorgeously layered novel, cinematic in scope and yet hauntingly intimate. Embers on the Wind crosses the barriers between the living and the dead, illuminating how intergenerational trauma reverberates through history. An incandescent debut, luminous and mesmerizing.” —Marco Rafalà, author of How Fires End

“Ambitious and enthralling, Embers on the Wind is a richly told story of women bound by generations past and by spirits struggling to uncover truths and gain some semblance of freedom. Gripping and harrowing, start to finish.” —Susan Bernhard, author of Winter Loon

“An intricate, magical, suspenseful, and expertly crafted tale of how the devastating collective trauma experienced by Black American mothers and daughters is woven through time and connects generations. The force of this powerful story held me in an ever-tightening grip until the very end. It blew me away.” —William Dameron, author of The Lie: A Memoir of Two Marriages, Catfishing & Coming Out

“Centering on a Berkshires home that was part of the Underground Railroad, Embers on the Wind bends time to bring together a kaleidoscope of Black and white lives that seek, shatter, and rise in a stunning conclusion. Lisa Williamson Rosenberg has written a powerful, haunting tale of the modern African American diaspora.” —Laurie Lico Albanese, author of Stolen Beauty and Hester

“Lisa Williamson Rosenberg captures both the conflagration of slavery and its ignited sprawl through time in this stirring novel of linked stories surrounding Whittaker House—a location imbued with Morrison’s ‘site of memory’ connecting people by time, circumstance, and of course, place. Whittaker House is as impressively rendered on the page as it is in our collective literary imagination of places with long memories and the people who comprise and/or curate the histories and stories of them. Embers on the Wind speaks of our connections—temporal, relative, corporeal, and spiritual—in ways that reckon with an ever-present past.” —M Shelly Conner, author of everyman


“A vital stop along the Underground Railroad, the historic Whittaker House should be a symbol of freedom and hope. Instead, it cries and whispers into the modern era, telling stories of all that was...


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ISBN 9781542036863
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