Light on Snow by Anita Shreve

Nicky Dillon and her father live in relative isolation off of a dirt road in rural New Hampshire.  TheLight  solitude is easier for her dad, who left an architectural career after the death of his wife and baby daughter in a car crash.  It’s a recovery of sorts for Nicky as well, albeit a lonely one.

Their isolation ends abruptly when Nicky and her father find an abandoned newborn baby while on a walk through the woods behind their house.  Luckily, they get the child to the hospital and she’s okay, but Nicky develops an attachment to the baby that doesn’t go away when the child is taken away for adoption.  Her father is changed, too, and two years of suppressed grief come to the surface, not to mention the drama of the world beyond their home, and company they don’t expect.

Nicky is a likable character who comes across as being somewhat of a loner.  She is an independent soul who keeps herself busy, but she actually relishes interaction with other people.  She is twelve, an age in which too many things become inexplicable, and while she loves her dad, their isolated circumstances are increasingly stifling to her.  The appearance of a young lady at their door at once complicates things for the father and provides Nicky with much needed company, along with facing some harsh realities. 

How the three of them manage to coexist while being snowed in and without power make for a page turner that’s worthy for airplane reading material.  In other words, I liked Light on Snow well enough to finish most of it on plane flights to and from England, which says a lot for the book.  A good book will help you concentrate.

(William Hicks, Information Services)


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