In the middle of a Minnesota winter, Arnold Schiller gives in to the oppressive season that reigns outside and also to his own inner demons and commits suicide, leaving a devastated family in his wake. Claire Schiller, wife and mother, takes shelter from the emotional storm with her husband's parents, but must ultimately emerge from her grief and help her two young children to recover. Esau, her oldest, is haunted by the same darkness that plagued his father. At twelve years old, he has already been in and out of psychiatric hospitals. But as the youngest, perhaps it is Katie who carries the heaviest burden. A precocious six year old who desperately wants to help hold the family together, she will have to come to terms with the memory of her father who was at once loving and cruel. The Centre of Winter finds humour in unlikely places and evokes the north - its people and landscape - with warmth, sensitivity and insight.