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Spring has arrived, and yet an unyielding winter freeze has left Louisa snowed into her apartment building for months with parents coping with extreme stress, a little brother struggling with cabin fever, and — awkwardly — her neighbor and former close friend, Luke. The new realities of this climate disaster have not only affected Louisa’s family, but when Luke’s dad has an ice-related accident and it’s unclear if he’ll recover, both families’ lives are turned upside down.

Desperate to find an escape from the grief plaguing their homes, Louisa and Luke build a massive snow fort in their yard. But their creation opens up an otherworldly window to what could lie ahead, and sets them on a mission: to restore the universe to its rightful order, so the ice will melt and life will return to “normal”.

With a deft combination of heartfelt prose and a touch of magic, Monica Sherwood’s affecting debut novel is a relatable story of families grappling with — and emerging from — a different kind of quarantine.