This is the story of Pippa Rede, loving single mother and young, contemporary witch, struggling for subsistence in a frigid and wooded northeastern corner of our country. It is Pippa's belief in an intimately connected, rounded and whole world that has led her down the Wiccan path, though her observance has been somewhat less than devout owing to the inescapable considerations of food, shelter, gainful employment...and Winterbelle. Pippa's beautiful, adored and adoring nine-year-old 'elf, ' Winterbelle is the healing warmth in her mother's gray, enduring December - the only truly precious and irreplaceable thing in an otherwise disorganized, undirected, confusing and often hurtful life. Then, without any warning, her beloved daughter is lost to her. Imposing strangers have burst into Pippa's world, narrow-mindedly accusing her of dark, satanic practices. Bigots and zealots bolstered by the powers of official government have stolen her little girl and taken her far away. And gentle, unobtrusive Pippa Rede - whose answers to a life full of questions have always been 'yes' - has been labeled a monster, and left homeless, jobless and childless to face the longest, coldest most desperate nights of the year all alone. Suddenly a fugitive from law, order and decent Christian society, Pippa's flight is leading her deep into the dark woods, where the wild things are. And there she will stand at the very edge of the Mystery, on a transforming inner quest for the genuine power available only to serious practitioners of Earth-centered spirituality. For only then will she be strong enough to take on the vested omnipotence of Government and State - to win back her Winterbelle and restore the rightness of the universe.