e When Nicky and her dad help shovel out the woman s car at the end of the novel and the author merely states In the spring, my father will stop at the cottage with the wash outside and find a kind of love there with a woman and her there sons that in years to come will cause all sorts of joy and complications in my life It s these sorts of comments that frustrate me and make me wish there was a sequel.
5This is the third Anita Shreve book I have read this year I m really connecting with her writing I think it s something about the way it s so simple but quite intimate Descriptions of ordinary things that resonate deeply for me at least This is about a father and his twelve year old daughter Nicky, who find an abandoned alive baby in the snow while out on a walk We follow them through the quiet aftermath of this A lovely and rather sad story that I adored.
Finishing either the 4th or 5th Anita Shreve book and I m just wrecked, as usual It happens the same way every time so far I begin reading, the story is set on the East Coast, Vermont, New Hampshire, by the ocean, and I think to myself,hmm, I don t think I can relate to this The character seems cold, or strange, alienThen a few page turns and I m enraptured Shreve has a talent that I wish I had, the talent of describing something that is indescribable to most people Daily moments or feelings that sweep by and are forgotten just as fast, taken for granted, missed in the swirl of stronger emotions She tells a story from the inside out, examining the bones and interiors, describing the mundane from a different perspective, revealing emotions that are so often pressed deep and hidden inside, even to ourselves She does it in the most loving, accepting way I always feel incredibly human when I read her stories, and that feels like the most beautiful thing to be in all our flawed, silly glory There are always moments where I m reading along, a person is walking or cooking or cleaning, putting on a shirt or taking one off, and then BOOM, Shreve makes an observation so incisive that it makes my chest feel like it s caving in It often happens at the end of a chapter, as if she instinctively knew to give the reader some time to process that little exquisite bomb Her stories are not incredible or lurid or even very complex usually, but the gift is all in the writing and the emotions of the characters She expresses what they are feeling, what they are experiencing, how their lives find meaning in the tiny, everyday things How they love and make love, how love ends and begins, how a tiny little detail can make your heart explode with longing for someone gone Her characters have a past, and a present that we share, and then they always, ALWAYS have a future You can tell that she loves them as if they are real people She cannot bear to leave them hanging, and neither can we.
I am glad I didn t base whether to read this book on the reviews here because I think a lot of people didn t get it, and maybe that s Shreve s failing, but I ve observed that, by and large, people don t really understand grief until they experience it first hand, unfortunately I know that I did not So I think that people who have experienced the kind of grief that keeps you from getting out of bed will really appreciate this book, and those who have had blissfully uneventful lives will miss a lot of the subtlety in it.
On the second page of the story, the narrator, Nicky, tells us she s 30 but the events she s relating occur when she is 12 Telling the story in the present tense rather than the past affirms that the Nicky is, at core, the same person she was back when, and yet the events brought on momentous change in her life.
The cover copy tells us the main kernel of the story Nicky and her dad, who live on the outskirts of a small New Hampshire town, find an abandoned baby in the woods They rescue her and a couple of weeks later the mother shows up at their house to deal with what happened We read that Nicky wonders what makes a family What the cover copy doesn t go into is that the Nicky and her father are walking wounded, like the mother of the abandoned baby They had lost half their family Nicky s mother and her baby sister two years prior to finding the abandoned baby She and her father are coexisting in an emotionally frozen state, but she is just beginning her life and cannot stay frozen Finding the baby awakens a fire within both of them because they have control over making something right, after having experienced the total chaos of unexpectedly losing half their family and being hurled into the unknown.
The title of the book is an apt symbol of the main characters situations Light causes snow to melt or evaporate, eventually The light is refracted and the energy spreads through the snow, warming and melting it Light on Snow can also blind you You can be blinded by grief, too But it s the snow, not the light, that s blinding Our own frozen emotional states can cause us to see things harshly and keep us isolated from life affirming experiences But the light of truth makes everything right, eventually Light on Snow signals that the bad weather will eventually end You need to persevere things work out as they should, and though sometimes the process is painful than you think you can stand, the spring and summer will come.
Nicky, although grieving the loss of her mother and baby sister, is clearly ready to move on with her twelve year old life We don t know where the father is at we can only guess from the Nicky s observations, wherein she herself acknowledges there s a lot about her father she doesn t know Connecting with the baby and the mother stirs a sense of family within her She becomes an antagonist to her father and challenges his frozen way of seeing the world.
I love how Shreve captured the mysteriousness of womanhood and childbirth to a prepubescent girl How many of us women remember that state before our hormones took over and we were blissfully ignorant of the power within our bodies Right at the threshold of her own womanhood, Nicky is imprinted with this woman s story of an unplanned pregnancy At 12 years old, we are very morally black and white often Nicky has fits about what s right or wrong , and yet Nicky was ready than her father to consider the idea the mother might not have been at fault for the baby s abandonment, and to show the mother compassion as she tries to face her bad choices Nicky s need to love and understand her world brings the mother s story to light where the wounds of injustice can begin to heal.
Although I could see where the story was going, it didn t stop me from reading, or dull my pleasure, because Shreve went beyond the story line and captured the moment when grief changes, along with a girl s coming of age in an imperfect world If I had a daughter, I d make this required reading for her It s a book I wish I could have read when I was a teenager.
Is that it Really I ve read better pieces of news about the same subject and that provoked in me deeper emotions than this book.
Talk about disappointment Plus, the writing was bland and so were the characters.
Nicky was okay She was really mature and her thoughts were surprisingly insightful for her age.
However, her father was a selfish, cowardly man, too lost in his own grief to support a young daughter going through the same process And Charlotte Her story could have been so much than it was.
One of my favorite Shreve titles I loved the teenaged character, and I adore Shreve s writing.
I read this book to be a good book club member The target audience appeared to be young adult women, so this book was not really my thing That being said, it took only about four hours to read, which was a plus and is why the book is worthy of two stars Many of the characters seemed like caricatures, and many of their actions were not very believable The narrator was supposedly 30 at the time the narration was occurring, but sounds like she is 12 Young adult women who like coming of age stories about young adult women may like this book.
I ve never read Anita Shreve before, but I picked up this book at the Tokyo airport it was a name I recognized and there were not a lot of English books to chose from It turned out be a good choice I enjoyed the book because the story and the characters seemed real It was if this situation of finding a baby in the snow and plot that follows, could happen to anyone I found that I was putting myself in the characters shoes asking what I would do in the same situation I don t want to simplify the characters there were layers to their struggles that were both heartbreaking and heartwarming It was a short book I read it in one day of traveling it almost felt like a long, short story which was kind of refreshing Overall, a good, entertaining book, with a twisted, yet realistic plot.
Written From The Point Of View Of Year Old Nicky As She Recalls The Vivid December Day Years Ago When She And Her Father Found An Abandoned Infant In The Snow, This Beautiful Contemporary Bestseller About Love And Memory From The Author Of The Bestselling All He Ever Wanted