Thursday, June 12, 2008

Summer Snow


Baart, Nicole. 2008. Summer Snow.

"It's not that I ever had delusions of grandeur, or even that I think I am better than anyone else, but there is something about donning a tag that says, 'Please be patient; I'm a trainee' and asking, 'Would you like paper or plastic?' that is uniquely, even brutally, humbling."

Summer Snow is the sequel to Nicole Baart's first novel, After the Leaves Fall. Our heroine, Julia DeSmit is a college dropout who is single, pregnant, living with her grandmother, and preparing for a 'humiliating' job back in her home town. Life is not turning out the way she imagined it would all those years ago. It's full of unexpected surprises, detours, and delays. Still Julia can't help but feel a little excited at the thought of bringing a little one into the world. She dreams of having a little girl all her own. She's daydreaming all these wonderful, marvelous things. But then a few surprises come her way. Her mother, the mother who abandoned her all those years ago, is back. And she's not alone. Julia has a brother, a half-brother. A small and mostly charming brother who doesn't know of his mother's former family and is just happy to make a new friend. To say that Julia is shocked would be an understatement. To say that the shock gives way to anger and confusion would be just the tip of it. Drama. Drama. Drama. Oh, and she's having a boy. She's a little sad but guilty over feeling sad at the same time. A bit confused as to why she feels like she's in mourning for a baby girl that never existed except in her dreams.

Summer Snow is all about grace, forgiveness, and taking chances. It's about living life day by day. It's about learning to be okay no matter what surprises come your way. It's still very much a coming-of-age story. Life has disappointments. Life has regrets. But it's in learning how to move on, move forward, that experience turns to wisdom.

I enjoyed this one.