The Symmetry of Snowflakes Paperback – March 19, 2015
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"I was pleasantly surprised. This goes W-A-Y beyond romantic silliness and turns out to be a fairly involving look at family relationships. For it seems, Hank's dad, who has been a pretty big rat in the past, desperately needs Hank's help. Just to complicate matters, the old man is now married to the first girl Hank's brother ever loved. And she's now making eyes at Hank."
About the Author
Top-selling author Paul Michael Peters is an American writer best known for his take on the quirky tangents and morals of contemporary life and his recent novel, Insensible Loss.
His upcoming novel, Combustible Punch, is a thriller scheduled for release in 2019 that explores the psychological dance between that most unlikely of odd couples: a serial killer and a high school shooting survivor.
Stay up to date with Peters' latest book releases and author news by visiting his website, where you can sign up for the newsletter as well as find more short stories and other online content.
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Hank’s snowflake shaped family tree keeps him busy and confuses his friends and the new people he meets. He has such a convoluted family that he assigns the members various number designations so he can keep them straight.
While Hank seems to be slightly used and abused by his family and their demands on his time, he is also basically a good guy who endeavors to do what’s expected of him and tries to keep the peace in his odd family.
This is a book about relationships and at times it is poignant and at others it’s nearly infuriating, especially when Hank takes pity on his father even when history and the rest of the people in his life advise against it.
Ultimately, Hank ends up doing something that’s not so nice, which makes him more human but nearly loses what he desires most.
The author's use of snowflakes throughout was an interesting touch, and related to the text well.
This book is well written and hits on lots of emotional points of life in an overly extended family. It was a thoroughly entertaining read.
I'm going to be honest and say that this book made me feel so many emotions. I cried on page 4.... if you've ever spent a holiday alone, pondering your life choices, you might too. I felt for Hank as he dealt with family drama. I guess for me, the most relatable part of this whole book was how complex all relationships are, and how they can grow and evolve over time.
If you are from Michigan, you'll appreciate the hometown touches - the Lions Thanksgiving Day game at Ford Field, Zingerman's Roadhouse (best mac & cheese ever!), downriver, and of course, Tigers opening Day. Do yourself a favor, download this book NOW, and lose yourself in a wonderful story. You won't regret it.
It is almost our story, with our families being so different from the traditional families of ago. I myself come from a family that has mixed and remixed a couple of times. Not so much that I have had to number my parental units, but enough to understand Hank's holidays, and the love (guilt?) He has for each of them.
Mr. Peters has a style of writing that is fresh and invigorating. Intelligent and definitely not high browed, Speaking of the symmetry of snowflakes and the symmetry of people....this is kind of writing that sets you up to get into the mind of Hank as he maneuvers through the relationships, old and new, in his life.
Hank is the kind of guy who seems like he has everything together, but you know he is just missing that one thing. Erin could very well be that missing link. There are other factors that could throw off the balance of happily ever after, the pressure of his family and Erin’s past.
I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I did enjoy this book because Hank really figures himself out. This was definitely worth the read.
Top international reviews
The main character, Hank, is making several Thanksgiving stops to visit various family members. Instead of the author allowing the reader to experience the relationships through show and dialogue, we’re told of insignificant stuff. “This is something I am still not accustomed to, having staff, especially on a holiday, though I do suspect many people are looking for additional money this time of year.” (Page 24) This serves no purpose. First, he doesn’t need to get accustom to holiday staff because he’s just visiting. Second, it doesn’t move the story along. The rest of page 24 goes on about his business, how he conducts his business, and his relationship to P5. Description and interaction with P5 would have been better than Hank telling me about him.
Then there are several “I can hear the [anger] [pride]” on pages 31 to 32 instead of describing what’s going on.
I also have to add that there are filler areas using poor dialogue—example on page 32.
The line goes out with a click. I press the speakerphone off, than tap it again to reengage.
“Did you say dial sister?”
“Ok, dialing sister.”
This is the second time the author inserts dialogue between Hank and his phone system. At the end of page 33, Hank is talking about what his sister says to him. “Be careful,” she says as if I were one of her calves. How does one talk to calves? I’ve tried to visualize this but I can’t.
This book was disappointing because I really wanted to snuggle up with it and enjoy. Instead, the writing and lack of editing got in the way.