virtues cover jpgThe Virtues of Oxygen is the heartrending story of unlikely bonds made under dire straits. Holly is a young widow with two sons living in a ramshackle house in the same small town where she grew up wealthy. Now barely able to make ends meet editing the town’s struggling newspaper, she manages to stay afloat with help from her family. Then her mother suffers a stroke, and Holly’s world begins to completely fall apart.

Vivian has lived an extraordinary life, despite the fact that she has been confined to an iron lung since contracting polio as a child. Her condition means she requires constant monitoring, and the close-knit community joins together to give her care and help keep her alive. As their town buckles under the weight of the Great Recession, Holly and Vivian, two very different women both touched by pain, forge an unlikely alliance that may just offer each an unexpected salvation.



A Watershed Year Cover A Watershed Year traces with subtle humor and grace the months after the death of Lucy’s beloved friend Harlan. Schoenberger’s spot-on storytelling adeptly draws out the ways in which our closest relationships can be imperfect and yet continue to transform us. The story often tugged me to tears-as much for the truths it reveals about human interconnectedness as for the pain of Lucy’s grief.

However, I never felt manipulated or yanked unwillingly to boo-hoo over standard sorrows. Her characters are lovably
quirky yet complex enough to be believable. You’ve never met them before, and yet you know they exist!

Juliette Fay, best-selling author of Shelter Me and Deep Down True

“Susan Schoenberger takes us to the softer places of the heart in her debut novel, A WATERSHED YEAR, where love — in all its forms and glory — transforms grief into grace.”

Patti Callahan Henry, NYT bestselling author. Coming Up for Air is her latest.

Thoughtful and uplifting reading of the power of a mother and family, A Watershed Year is an excellent pick.

— Midwest Book Review

Bloggers who reviewed the book include:

Laura’s Reviews

Chronicles of a Country Girl

Cozy Readers Corner

Books and Movies

Sidewalk Shoes

Books in the City

Books Like Breathing

Kelly’s Lucky You


The Lost Entwife