Skip to main navigation Skip to main content

The 2021 Graywolf Press African Fiction Prize is now open for submissions via Submittable through August 31, 2021.

Rainy Lake

Mary F. Rockcastle
"Rockcastle has painted a vivid, flesh-and-bone portrayal of a family and their lakeside summers."—The Hungry Mind Review

In this evocative, heart-grabbing novel, author Mary Rockcastle invites the reader to savor the sights, sounds, and smells of summer at her parents' lopsided lakefront cabin during the 1960s. From the landscape of her memory, Danielle Fillian paints a sensitive and wise family portrait of summers filled with fly-fishing, swimming, water-skiing, new friendships, and a deepening first love. But with the intrusion of the Vietnam War and the rumblings of the civil rights movement growing steadily nearer, this sheltered vacation community is forced to acknowledge the harsh realities of the wider world.

"To leave Rainy Lake is to be left with 'the lingering smell of lake water,' the haunting memory of a real girl struggling to come of age against the backdrop of the '60's, racism and Vietnam."—Sandra Benitez

Share Title

Publication Date
Trim Size
5 3/8 x 8 1/2
"There is emotional heft in Ms. Rockcastle's careful portraits of the pensive narrator and her disappointed, hard-drinking parents, and of Billy, who goes 'down the tracks' with the local girls but falls in love with 15-year-old Danielle."—The New York Times Book Review

About the Author

Mary F. Rockcastle
Credit: Dani Werner
Mary François Rockcastle is the author of In Caddis Wood and Rainy Lake. She is the director of The Creative Writing Programs at Hamline University, and the founding and executive editor of Water~Stone Review.  She lives in Minneapolis.
More by author


Back to Table of Contents