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The Winter Loon

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  37 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Henriksen’s gorgeous settings and multilayered plot enrich the story. This is an inspiring, feel-good tale. ~Publisher’s Weekly

A debut novel that honors the strength and spirit of all those who struggle with social persecution because of who they love and how they define family whether it is their own flesh and blood kinfolk or those nearest and dearest to their heart.


Kindle Edition, 351 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Cougar Creek Books
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Average rating 4.19  · 
Rating details
 ·  37 ratings  ·  17 reviews

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Chris Norbury
Oct 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
An interesting, well-written novel about a young woman growing into adulthood in the 1930s who deals with accepting the fact that she's a lesbian. The writing is sensitive and feels honest, but doesn't dig too deeply into the hate and discrimination shown toward the LGBT community back in the Depression Era and early WW II.

Other than the main character, Ruth; her lover, Gisella; and perhaps Duke, Ruth's best friend since childhood; the characters aren't deeply drawn, but the story is mainly Ruth
Ruth tries desperately to come to terms with her emerging sexuality and then to tell her boyfriend, Duke in 1930's Minnesota. The story starts as Ruth is trying to earn enough money on the rodeo circuit to go to college and the story continues through into her thirties.

A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Bonnye Reed
The Winter Loon is an exceptional look into the lives and hopes of families faced with questions of acceptance of LGBTQ members. Though fiction, the delicacy, acceptance, and tenderness of the handling of the stories of those family members with alternative lifestyles are made plain and the road to acceptance of same is clearly drawn. This was a novel I read at a single setting, one I couldn't put aside.

America's entry into the Second World War and the way the country geared up and worked toget
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
I really enjoyed this heartwarming book. As a Muskoka born child, I grew up loving horses and the north country. Loons are a big part of life in Muskoka. The title caught my attention first. I had no idea where Loons went in winter, now I do.
I was raised by my father to be tolerant. He always said "you don't know what 'that person' is going through"... "don't be too fast to judge a situation". He grew up in the era this book was written and I thank him for his teachings. The world has come a lo
Jan 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Winter Loon

This author Lori Henriksen did an excellent job writing this book and especially around the thirties and forties. Showing how gay people were persecuted and also how in reality not much has really changed, despite the fact LGBT is world wide. There is still plenty of homophobia around with beatings/killings to this day.
This is a love story with a twist of two.
The author not only did a good job writing this but also showed that tolerance can be overcome.
Would definitely recommend
May 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Winter Loon is an engaging and well-written novel that follows a young woman by the name of Ruth. Ruth wants to go to college as her brother did. Unfortunately, not a lot of emphasis is put on her pursuing this path. Her brother was helped by their father at accomplishing this, but there is little to no help for her. So she sets out to accomplish this on her own by joining the rodeo circuit and riding.
I love the pacing of this story. It is slow, but not too slow. You get a nice feel for the
May 09, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a surprising book. I was unsure about the topic, since I expected a regular historical romance, and it ended up being a story that fit the current times, with its unconventional views and depictions of same gender love. Even so, I enjoyed the book, since it treated the historical views of this topics with gentleness, but with some authenticity. Back during the 1940's Ruth is a young woman trying to figure out her future. She is a rodeo worker, with some barrel racing and such as her job ...more
Helen Bungert
May 29, 2020 rated it liked it
The book club was divided on this one. We all liked the writing and the symbolism but disagreed about the plot. Some of us felt it was too one note, too plodding. Others thought it was a page turner. Some members were very sympathetic to Wes and felt the book showed us his redemption. Others were not as sympathetic.
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
This character driven story is very well written. There is so much food for thought, here, and I became quite attached to the characters. Definitely looking forward to more of Ms. Henriksen's writing. ...more
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Lovely Love Story!

Love is love is love. A beautifully written story that takes place before and during World War II. Its about a brave young woman who loves unconditionally and a family that learns to accept what others might call unconventional love.
The Winter Loon is a well written historical fiction about being LGBT+ in a time when it was frowned upon. The characters are complex and the plot is interesting and engaging.
gj indieBRAG
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
We are proud to announce that THE WINTER LOON by Lori Henriksen is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells readers that this book is well worth their time and money!
Mar 05, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Glenn Van Buren
Sep 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great job, Lori.

It gave me a better understanding of the complexity of life. I have known Lori a very long time and this book has given me understanding of Lori s a member of my family.
Dianne McMahan
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Dec 05, 2018
Linda Rosen
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Jul 25, 2019
Sara Kennedy
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Mar 03, 2019
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Feb 10, 2020
Chris Lints
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Sep 03, 2019
Bonnie Luckey
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Mar 21, 2019
Mel Pearce
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Apr 23, 2019
Heather Bennett
May 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Winter Lion is a wonderful historical romance of two women who fall in love in a time when it is not excepted in society. The author has written the characters well and I enjoyed the storyline.
Kathy Johnston
rated it it was ok
Sep 08, 2019
Julia Boltt
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Nov 19, 2019
Susan Ladoucer
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Jan 02, 2019
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Aug 21, 2018
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Mar 29, 2020
Janice Sutherland
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Mar 04, 2020
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a riveting story of the love of two women in a time when this kind of love was not easily accepted by society. When Ruth realizes she is falling in Love with Gisela, she has many doubts about claiming that love and their relationship openly.

I am only giving it 4 stars because the first few chapters when Ruth was 18 and riding the rodeo circuit were a little tedious to get through, but that might just be me because I was a “horse girl.”. Also I felt that the last several chapters were a
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