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The Warmest December


The long-awaited reissue of McFadden’s best-selling second novel praised by Toni Morrison, USA Today, Washington Post, and others—published simultaneously with McFadden’s new novel Gathering of Waters.

$15.95 $11.96

Available as an e-book for:

What people are saying…

“McFadden’s reissued second novel takes an unflinching look at the corrosive nature of alcoholism . . . This is not a story of easy redemption . . . McFadden writes candidly about the treacherous hold of addiction.”
Publishers Weekly

“Riveting . . . so nicely avoids the sentimentality that swirls around the subject matter. I am as impressed by its structural strength as by the searing and expertly imagined scenes.”
—Toni Morrison, author of Beloved

“The sharpness of the prose and power of the story make it hard to stop reading even the most brutal scenes . . . The story feels real perhaps because it’s familiar . . . Or maybe, as Frey points out, the story is too vivid to be read purely as fiction. But in this Precious-style novel, genre is the least of our concerns.”
Bust magazine

“[A] masterpiece . . . full of heart and emotion . . . I hope you love the book as much as I did, and I hope it moves you as much as it did me, changes you as it did me.”
—James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces, from the Introduction


“Ms. McFadden is one of those rare talents who can keep a reader enthralled regardless of the topic . . . This is a story that cuts across all race and social strata in its need to be told.”
Dallas Morning News

The Warmest December is written with a searing and vivid quality that makes it impossible to stop reading.”
Cleveland Plain Dealer


Read Bernice L. McFadden’s piece, “Are We Related?”, inspired by her book, Nowhere Is a Place.

Read Bernice L. McFadden’s contribution to “My Caribbean – 5 Vignettes,” which appeared in the November 10, 2013 issue of the New York Times.

For Kenzie, growing up in the Lowe household means opening the bottom drawer of her father’s dresser to choose which belt she’ll be whipped with that night, furtive trips to the Bee Hive liquor store for her father’s vodka, and dreaming of the day she can escape apartment 5A.

Buoyed by the lyrical, redemptive voice that characterizes McFadden’s writing, The Warmest December tells the powerful, deeply moving story of one Brooklyn family and the alcoholism and abuse that marked the years of their lives. Narrated by Kenzie Lowe, a young woman reminiscent of Jamaica Kincaid’s Annie John, the story moves fluidly between the past and the present as she visits her dying father and finds that choices she once thought beyond her control are very much hers to make. The Warmest December is ultimately a cathartic tale of hope, healing, and forgiveness.

Book Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Published: 1/31/12
  • IBSN: 9781617750359
  • e-IBSN: 9781617751110


BERNICE L. McFADDEN is the author of ten critically acclaimed novels including Sugar, Loving Donovan, Nowhere Is a Place, The Warmest December, Gathering of Waters (a New York Times Editors’ Choice and one of the 100 Notable Books of 2012), Glorious, and The Book of Harlan (winner of a 2017 American Book Award and the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction). She is a four-time Hurston/Wright Legacy Award finalist, as well as the recipient of four awards from the BCALA. Praise Song for the Butterflies is her latest novel.

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