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Light on Snow Paperback – September 12, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
An after-school stroll leads to a life-altering event for widower Robert Dillon and his 12-year-old daughter, Nicky, in this delicate new novel by acclaimed author Shreve (All He Ever Wanted,etc.). In the woods surrounding their secluded home in Shepherd, N.H., Robert and Nicky make a startling discovery—a baby abandoned and left to die in the snow. The infant survives, but the incident leaves its mark. Still recovering from the painful loss of her mother and infant sister two years earlier, and readjusting to the shock of a sudden move from suburban Westchester to rural Shepherd, Nicky struggles to reconcile her innocent notions of adult integrity with the bleak reality of their discovery. The tenuous sense of normalcy Robert manages to sustain is broken with the appearance of Charlotte, the baby's young mother, on his doorstep. Retold 18 years later by an adult Nicky but written in the present tense, the story shifts brilliantly between childlike visions of a simple world and the growing realization of its cruel ambiguities. Aside from a few saccharine moments and a rather pat ending, Shreve does a skilled job of portraying grief, conflict and anger while leaving room for hope, redemption and renewal. Her characters are sympathetic without being pitiable, and her prose remains deceptively simple and eloquent throughout.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Critics agree that Light on Snow is not Shreves best work. One called it simplistic, while another complained that the characters actions were not believable. Some questioned Shreves decision to tell the story from the point of view of an adult Nicky, whose removal from the events deprives the narrative of immediacy. Several readers did find Nickys story affecting, and Shreve devotees may enjoy this book as a lesser effort by a favorite author. Those seeking an introduction to her work, however, might look for a different place startThe Pilots Wife, perhaps.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Nicky Dillon, now thirty, is the narrator. She reminisces back to the time she was twelve, living alone with her dad in an isolated house in the woods, just outside the town of Shepherd, NH. On a December day, near Christmastime, Robert Dillon's wife, Nicky's mother, and her baby sister, Clara, were killed in a car crash. Dillon chose Shepherd at random on his drive north with his remaining daughter, from their former home in Westchester, NY, because he could not drive on any longer. His goal was to remove himself as far as possible from society - to find a quiet place with no memories to bury his grief. Nicky, who was in terrible pain also, was faced with leaving the only home she had ever known, her friends and school, stability.
Two years later, on a cold, wintery afternoon in mid-December, Nicky and her father go for their usual late afternoon walk in the forest. The snowfall is heavy enough to make snowshoes necessary. Deep in the woods they find a newborn infant, abandoned in the snow, lying in a sleeping bag.Read more ›
Because of her youth, Nicky is quicker to recover, awakening after the long months of grief to find that her father simply cannot shake the depression that weighs upon him. He is barely functioning, turning out simple furniture that provides them with a meager income. They establish a few new routines, afternoon walks and make mostly unsuccessful attempts to engage as a family, albeit a broken one.
It is on one of their late afternoon walks through the darkening countryside buried in new snow, that they first hear whimpering. Finally locating the source of the cries, father and daughter discover a newborn baby, abandoned soon after its birth. After a harrowing ride to the hospital, the baby survives and the Dillon's return home, both in awe of what they have just accomplished. But while Robert ponders the kind of mother who could abandon her child, Nicky is harboring dreams of a changed family dynamic, one that includes the new baby. Robert disabuses Nicky of this idea, but a spark of rebellion has taken root in her soul.
When the baby's mother shows up on their doorstep, both father and daughter are uncomfortable, but before she can leave, Charlotte faints, still weakened by the recent birth.Read more ›
Days later as a snow storm is approaching, the mother of the baby comes to their home under the false pretense of looking for furniture, which Roberts makes in his barn. She eventually admits the truth about who she is, but by then it is too late for her to leave and Robert must make the decision of whether or not to turn her in to the authorities. He does not want anything to do with her but as they are faced with time alone, she tells him her side of story and his thoughts and feelings about her begin to change.
Light On Snow is a very haunting story about the decisions we make and what consequences those decisions make on us, and others. The writing is simple to read for being such a complex story. This is the perfect book to curl up and read on a cold winters day.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What a page turner this was! Loved all the characters and the little town too. A little disappointed in the ending. I had gone on and visualized a perfect happy ending ☺Published 4 days ago by Sara, plain and tall
(Slight spoiler) Intensely told story which will cause you to look out your window and wonder why you are not seeing pine trees and snow. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Kindle Customer
I loved this story. Shreve writes so well and her stories are always different and never the same. The only reason that I gave it a 4 was that I listened to it on CD and the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Loves to Read
I cannot find it on my Kindle. I have ordered many books and never before had a problem getting them I only put one star because my comment wouldn't submit unless I put something.Published 2 months ago by Eileen Calcote
Always interesting and never predictable, the story captures one's interest from beginning t o end. It's hard to put down.Published 4 months ago by Juju