Iréne gives the wealthy businessmen what they want, diving headfirst into the filthy river, thinking only of providing for her baby daughter. A young boy tries to befriend the shy younger sister of the town’s cruelest bully, only to discover the family betrayal behind her quiet countenance. Josefa, a young bride, is executed for murdering the man who raped her.

Chosen as one of Publishers Weekly’s Big Indie Books of Fall 2015, How Winter Began (University of Nebraska, 2015) traces these and other characters as they seek compassion from each other and themselves. Thematically linked by the lives of women, especially Latinas, and their experiences of poverty and violence, How Winter Began explores how—or whether—we can trust one another again after the rupture of betrayal.