The River Caught Sunlight

Will be available July 1. Click on the cover to pre-order: 

image001Sometimes a person has to leave home, even if that home is the most marvelous place she’s ever lived, even if her mother will be diagnosed with terminal cancer, and her beloved farmer, a man she’s loved for years, asks her to marry him. Some fire drives her. Janice Westfahl feels called to publicize Godspeed Books, a small evangelical publisher outside of Chicago, a good thousand miles away from upstate New York. The job fits her, a woman who loves God and books. Her eyes are bright. Her hopes are high.

But Janice finds herself working with Jeremiah Sackfield, a radical right wing activist, who toys with revolution. Even though she is a brilliant publicist, Janice feels like she is betraying herself promoting a cause she doesn’t believe in. Like the elder brother in the Prodigal Son story, her brother has stayed home, furious his sister has dodged the painful months of his mother’s dying, while earning their father’s favor. When her father dies, they must settle the estate with this jealousy flickering between them.

IMG_0445Set in upstate New York and northern Illinois, The River Caught Sunlight, is about how people love their country so fiercely, they will do anything to hold onto it. Anything. Mystical poetry doesn’t use images of the land by mistake. It’s not a coincidence that silos look like phalluses. Patriots don’t mix talk about revolution and love for the homeland for nothing. Janice finds when you bed down a god, the barns burn.

The River Caught Sunlight is a fictional retelling of my experiences working as a publicist in evangelical publishing, where I promoted Francis and Frank Schaeffer. Frank Schaeffer admits he was partly responsible for helping George W coming to power in his recent memoirs Crazy For God and Mom, Sex and God. I write about what it means to be a woman and a questioning insider, coming of age in that world. I write about what it’s like to keep doing a job, despite deep grief.


“It’s the lyric impulse that gives the novel its substance, but it’s packed also with new and startling maneuvers of human beings—no, family–against one another. A true new voice.”–Larry Woiwode

“Katie Andraski is a brave writer and THE  RIVER  CAUGHT  SUNLIGHT is an ambitious and intelligent novel. Katie knows the real story is the one below the surface where nothing is as it seems. And she’s not afraid to go there.”– John Dufresne

“Katie Andraski is a writer of scruples and grace. Her clear, physical writing carries the reader immediately to the center of a human story. I would think that her novel would have a wide audience among those decent humans who strive to make sense of their lives and their duties.

“Unlike many current novelists, Andraski is not afraid to explore the spiritual side of existence. An unabashed Christian, though not a punitive fundamentalist, she offers millions of devout but tolerant Americans a story they can relate to.

“This is a warm and powerful story of the children of baby boomers trying to cope with death, inheritance, human fallibility, and love. It should be published, and if marketed well, should sell a lot of copies.”

Jack Butler, author of Living In Little Rock with Miss Little Rock

“As a poet, Katie Andraski has demonstrated the unique ability of finding the right word at the right time, and has shown this same talent in her novel and short story writings. Equipped with a lively sense of fantasy, she still knows to place a real frog in an imaginary garden. She is an author worth paying attention to for she has volumes of fascinating stories to tell.”

Anne Brashler, co-editor, StoryQuarterly

The book will be released July 1, 2014. You can pre-order  at:

Barnes and Noble




3 Responses to The River Caught Sunlight

  1. Deb Rogers says:

    Thank you for telling your story through this upcoming book. I look forward to reading more!

  2. halfickett says:

    Sounds like a powerful story, Katie. I look forward to reading it!
    Best, Hal
    Twitter @HalFickett

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