The Gospel of Winter

The Gospel of Winter

For Ages: 14 and up
  • 2
A fearless debut novel about the restorative power of truth and love after the trauma of abuse.

As sixteen-year-old Aidan Donovan’s fractured family disintegrates around him, he searches for solace in a few bumps of Adderall, his father’s wet bar, and the attentions of his local priest, Father Greg—the only adult who actually listens to him.

When Christmas hits, Aidan’s world collapses in a crisis of trust when he recognizes the darkness of Father Greg’s affections. He turns to a crew of new friends to help make sense of his life: Josie, the girl he just might love; Sophie, who’s a little wild; and Mark, the charismatic swim team captain whose own secret agonies converge with Aidan’s.

The Gospel of Winter maps the ways love can be used as a weapon against the innocent—but can also, in the right hands, restore hope and even faith. Brendan Kiely’s unflinching and courageous debut novel exposes the damage from the secrets we keep and proves that in truth, there is power. And real love.
  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442484894 | 
  • January 2014 | 
  • Grades 9 and up | 
  • Lexile HL780L
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About the Author

Brendan Kiely
Photo credit: Gary Joseph Cohen

Brendan Kiely

Brendan Kiely received his MFA from the City College of New York.  His debut novel, The Gospel of Winter, has been published in eight languages, was selected as one of the American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults 2015, and was a Kirkus Reviews selection for the Best of 2014. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in Greenwich Village. Find out more at