6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Another Gem Among Christian Novels,
This review is from: Summer Snow (Paperback)
Ever since I read Nicole Baart's lovely debut novel, After the Leaves Fall, I've been looking forward to the release of its sequel, Summer Snow. Following the story of Julia, who in the first book lost her father and the man she loved, this sequel traces the journey of her pregnancy and her reunion with her long-lost mother.
I must admit that when I realized Julia's mother was returning, I cringed a little. A dramatic family reunion seemed like such a predictable storyline. But I should have known that the story wouldn't turn out to be predictable or boring. Julia is an authentic and often lovable character. The twists and turns of the plot, the development of the characters, are vibrant and real. I did have a little difficulty "getting into" the story, but it began to pick up speed and interest for me a couple of chapters in. From that point on, I read with absorption and enjoyment.
Nicole's style isn't sparse or simple. She clearly loves the nuances and beauty of language. However, she usually avoids being self-indulgently descriptive, by instead being both specific and evocative. One of my favorite passages reads, "It was like finally being opened to the crushing weight of some indescribable significance pressing itself upon my soul, filling in the gaps. Leaving a mark. Leaving an imprint with a hand so heavy, so full and sweet, I almost cried out, but not in pain. In joy." (341)
Summer Snow also walks the fine line between melodrama and cynicism, humor and sadness, showing and telling. I found the dramatic, sad parts of the story tempered by the prosaic, funny, and down-to-earth.
God is not absent from the story, nor is He relegated to its least important shadows. Instead, some of the most intense and metaphorical passages are spiritual. I really appreciate this about Nicole's writing.
Summer Snow is another gem among Christian novels. I highly recommend it, and am again anticipating the release of Nicole's next novel.