Olivia Hawker is the Washington Post bestselling author of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow, a finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the WILLA Literary Award for Historical Fiction, and The Ragged Edge of Night. Her literary and upmarket historical fiction is characterized by rich, immersive description and complex characters. Book clubs around the world have shared and discussed Olivia's novels. She resides in the San Juan Islands of Washington State with her husband and several naughty cats.
The Rise of Light
August 17, 2021
A powerful novel about the expectations of family—and the risks and liberation of defying them—by the Washington Post bestselling author of One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow.
1975. In the town of Rexburg, Idaho, aspiring artist Aran Rigby, his younger sister, Tamsin, and their two brothers are locked in orbit around their emotionally abusive father. Gad is the kind of man who soothes the failures of his own life by controlling the lives of others.
But Aran and Tamsin are united in rebellion against their father. They understand each other. They have dreams beyond their small town.
Arriving in Rexburg is Linda Duff, an outsider from Seattle hoping to plant new roots far from the bitter ones of her childhood. She’s quickly taken with Aran, in no small part because of his talent. But when they fall in love, Linda is drawn into a family more damaged than the one she left behind. She also becomes privy to a secret Aran and Tamsin share that could dismantle everything everyone holds dear.
Upsetting the precarious balance in the Rigby home, Linda becomes an unwitting catalyst for the upheaval of Gad’s oppression. Now it’s time for them all to break free of the past, overcome the unforgivable, and find a new way forward—whatever the price.
One for the Blackbird, One for the Crow
From the bestselling author of The Ragged Edge of Night comes a powerful and poetic novel of survival and sacrifice on the American frontier.
A Finalist for the Washington State Book Award and the WILLA Literary Award for Historical Fiction
Wyoming, 1876. For as long as they have lived on the frontier, the Bemis and Webber families have relied on each other. With no other settlers for miles, it is a matter of survival.
But when Ernest Bemis finds his wife, Cora, in a compromising situation with their neighbor, he doesn’t think of survival. In one impulsive moment, a man is dead, Ernest is off to prison, and the women left behind are divided by rage and remorse.
Losing her husband to Cora’s indiscretion is another hardship for stoic Nettie Mae. But as a brutal Wyoming winter bears down, Cora and Nettie Mae have no choice but to come together as one family—to share the duties of working the land and raising their children. There’s Nettie Mae’s son, Clyde—no longer a boy, but not yet a man—who must navigate the road to adulthood without a father to guide him, and Cora’s daughter, Beulah, who is as wild and untamable as her prairie home.
Bound by the uncommon threads in their lives and the challenges that lie ahead, Cora and Nettie Mae begin to forge an unexpected sisterhood. But when a love blossoms between Clyde and Beulah, bonds are once again tested, and these two resilient women must finally decide whether they can learn to trust each other—or else risk losing everything they hold dear.
The Ragged Edge of Night
"Harrowing and yet life-affirming, told in the richest, most eloquent prose, The Ragged Edge of Night is one of the World War II novels that will stand out and be remembered." - Rhys Bowen, New York Times bestselling author of The Tuscan Child
"...Emotionally charged and beautifully written... Olivia Hawker shows that life can move forward and unexpected love can triumph... An unusual story based on a true one, making it all the more fascinating and satisfying." - Ann Howard Creel, bestselling author of The Whiskey Sea
"...This story of a simple man making the difficult choice to fight for his deepest values reminds us of the best of humanity." - Laila Ibrahim, author of Yellow Crocus
"When the world is at war, can one person make a difference? This moving historical novel immerses readers in World War II-era Germany, where even small acts of resistance have terrible consequences... Eye-opening and ultimately inspiring." - Elizabeth Blackwell, author of On a Cold Dark Sea
For fans of All the Light We Cannot See, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, and The Nightingale comes an emotionally gripping, beautifully written historical novel about extraordinary hope, redemption, and one man’s search for light during the darkest times of World War II.
Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage—in name only—to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too—atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war.
As Anton struggles to adapt to the roles of husband and father, he learns of the Red Orchestra, an underground network of resisters plotting to assassinate Hitler. Despite Elisabeth’s reservations, Anton joins this army of shadows. But when the SS discovers his schemes, Anton will embark on a final act of defiance that may cost him his life—even if it means saying goodbye to the family he has come to love more than he ever believed possible.