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Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

Set in the north of the United States, the atmosphere is effectively set as cold and isolated, in keeping with the theme of the book and its troubled characters.

Central to the plot is Nora Hamilton who finds her world shattered one morning when she awakens to find her policeman husband Brendon has committed suicide for reasons unforeseen, given her hitherto happy marriage. The plot revolves around her efforts to unravel the mystery surrounding this disaster, and her search leads to many tragic discoveries and events that shatter her illusions about the town in which she lives. The climactic scene explains the reason for Brendon’s suicide, although the shocking tragedy involved seemed somewhat underplayed in the overall story.

The remaining characters with their troubled pasts all add in their way to the tragedies involved, from the members of the local police force, to Nora’s unpleasant mother-in-law, to the young autistic man who assists Nora as her situation in the town becomes increasingly dangerous due to her uncovering facts that others would prefer to remain unknown.

The character of Nora at times seems to lack clarity and direction which can be somewhat annoying. Much of the time she seems to demonstrate a lack of emotion bordering on apathy towards the trying circumstances in which she finds herself. It could also be said that the plot was rather drawn out and at times the descriptions seemed overdone.

However despite these drawbacks, the writing style is quite poetic and if the story is a little slow in the middle it regathers pace towards the end and overall leaves one with the impression that it was worth the read.