Set in one block of the San Francisco’s tenderloin district in the late 1970s, Winter's Edge centers around the lives of two older, working-class women: Chrissie MacInnes, a tough, outspoken, Scottish-born waitress, and the more subdued Margaret Sawyer, a clerk in a news shop. When a local political election threatens their neighborhood with gentrification, it also threatens their friendship: Chrissie fights fiercely for her values and her home, while Margaret tries not to “get involved.” But when the election battle leads to arson and violence, they join forces to find the culprit—and in the process, find the courage to re-examine their pasts, face their fears for the future, and affirm the importance of friendship and of community.
"Chrissie and Margaret are beautifully drawn characters, full of prickly yearnings and well-practiced defenses against the stacked deck of life. . . . Miner's tough, spare prose turns wonderfully eloquent . . . with an integrity that celebrates a special kind of affection."
"Miner is a writer of reach, audacity, range, uniquely important to understanding our time. . . . A poet of the city, the everyday urban life, she gives us its beat, its struggling human beings, its work life, its politics, its interrelationships; best of all, its old women on the edge of survival. . . . A U.S.A. seldom portrayed."
"In Winter's Edge, Valerie Miner brings us two wonderful old women whose relationship is feisty, tender, and deep. No fluff about senior citizens here! In the whole novel we live close to the marrow of humanity itself, its sordid side never evaded, its rich amalgam celebrated with fervor. What a splendid novel this is!"