Shoveling Snow Kindle Edition
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But, thankfully, it's not crap. It's really good - to the point that I forgot I was reading a friend's book and just fell right into the story. The story is crafted well - there are multiple perspectives, (although it will be primarily Ben and Smoof), and from different time periods and places. Under a less careful hand could be confusing, but in this case it enriches the story. I guess we could broadly describe this as a story about a relationship between two troubled people, a man and a child, but also how people cope with unexpected hardship.
What I also liked about the story was that it was exceedingly visual. In each location (Ben's room in the guest house, Smoof's house/school, Rose's apartment) you could really see what the author was trying to describe. He is also skilled at conveying emotion without killing it with extraneous dialogue.
I finished it over the weekend, and it's been sticking with me for the last few days, which is a sign of a good book to me. Highly recommend.
Smoot is a ten year old who is parenting her mother. From the beginning, all we know is that her mother is incapable of coping with any part of her life. There was a before, we get some hints of a happy family somewhere else, but now there is only endlessly tiptoeing around. Smoot must keep everything running so that no one finds out and takes her away.
Rose is an odd duck teacher whose worldliness is a cover for a long ago mistake that she wants to fix but won't. Thirty years ago, she made an impulsive choice that she thought could be undone. She has spent those 30 years going place to place, using her exotic travel and consciously weird food choices to set - and keep - herself apart from anyone who might get close. She has come to this part of Maine to try to fix her mistake.
All these characters are outsiders who ended up in rural coastal Maine. They live around the edges of a community where everyone is from there and no one moves there. They are at different stages of the same tragedy - falling apart and not having the will or strength or permission to move on.
I cannot tell you what a joy it is to read a book with such carefully, fully developed characters. Wonderful, wonderful. As the book ended, I really felt invested in these characters and wanted them to live happily ever after.
READ THIS BOOK!
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I wasted my time for that.