// EXCERPT //
Noel turned to his back and stared up at the darkness. He and Dumphey had lived in this room since before Mother passed—and she was a distant memory. Yet Noel could remember her stroking his head at nighttime when he was afraid in this small, dark room above the cooper’s shop. She had often placed her fingers under his chin and tilted his face up to look at hers, and together they would count up the blessings of this place.
“’Tis a roof over our head,” Noel whispered, “Shelter from the wind, protection from the snow, provision from God, a place to—”