In World War II Canada, Walt Dunmore and Al Clark are the only members of their bomber crew to survive a plane wreck on Newfoundland's Labrador coast-but now they must fight injuries and cold in the sub-zero wilderness. On the home front, in a small Canadian farming community, Walt's young wife Dottie struggles with her own battles: loneliness, worry, and an attraction to an itinerant farm worker. Only one man comes home alive from Labrador, but the lives of their two families remain forever entwined. Years later, when both families relocate to Chicago, questions of loyalty and bravery ensnare their children as they confront Vietnam and their own desires. One of them is left with a choice: revenge or sacrifice.
The novel follows the characters into old age, when decades-old secrets illuminate the present and the past. Johns expertly interweaves multiple storylines, maintaining tight narrative tension and slowly revealing the stories that bind her characters together. An ambitious, lyrical debut that explores romantic love and deceit, death and survival, war and domesticity, marriage, parenthood, and aging, Icebergs explores how tragedies narrowly averted can alter the course of lives as drastically as those met head-on.