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Critical Praise

"Independent, self-sufficient, tenacious--Dottie Connell, the heroine of Nicole Mazzarella's moving new novel, values her plain farmwoman's strengths. Those strengths have aided her in the long battle to keep her father's farm. But when she is given custody of her best friend's little girl, she is forced to recognize her limits. Inch by painful inch, Dottie reconsiders her life's choices, and maps afresh the boundaries of the human heart. This Heavy Silence is a fiercely beautiful meditation on will, desire and love's limitations. The work of an artist of deep commitment, it will linger long in readers' memories."

——Erin McGraw, author of The Good Life

"With grace, wisdom, an exacting moral imagination, and a sense of well-loved place that is all too rarely met, Mazzarella's beautiful novel explores the fertile ground of inner growth, the difference between what it means to age and what it means to ripen. An unforgettable book by a writer to watch."

——Janet Peery, author of The River Beyond the World, finalist for the National Book Award in Fiction

"Like the land she inhabits and the people she attends, Nicole Mazzarella offers a subtle and enduring beauty, born of intense interiority, and vision both broad and deep."

——Scott Cairns, author of Philokalia: New & Selected Poems