cover of debut novel northern lights author raymond strom simon and schuster 2019 thumb thumbnail
cover of debut novel northern lights author raymond strom simon and schuster 2019 thumb thumbnail

On a clear morning in the summer of 1997, Shane Stephenson arrives in Holm, Minnesota, with only a few changes of clothes, an old Nintendo, and a few dollars to his name. Reeling from the death of his father, Shane wants to find the mother who abandoned him as an adolescent—hoping to reconnect, but also to better understand himself. Against the backdrop of Minnesota’s rugged wilderness, and a town littered with shuttered shops, graffiti, and crumbling infrastructure, Shane is drawn in by a group of sympathetic friends in their teens and early twenties, all similarly lost: the reckless, charming J and his girlfriend Mary; Jenny, a brilliant and beautiful artist who dreams of escaping Holm; and the mysterious loner Russell, with whom Shane, against his better judgment, feels a strange attraction.


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Raymond Strom was born in Minnesota and spent his childhood in small towns throughout the Midwest. His writing has appeared in Fiction, Tweed's, Writer's Digest, and The New York Times. A music playlist for Northern Lights is featured on Largehearted Boy.