The sudden weight of snow
This virtuoso first novel weaves stories and decades into a tightly knit, haunting narrative, as it sets into relief two generations marked by the 1960s – those who lived through them, and those who came after. Seventeen-year-old Sylvia (Harper) Kostak is caught between her mother’s regrets and the strictures of small-town life in the interior of British Columbia. When Harper meets Gabe, an intense and enigmatic young man living on the ’60s-style arts commune outside of town, she is transfixed. Gradually we learn Gabe’s story and what led him to join his estranged mother on the commune, where, in a bid for freedom, Harper eventually finds herself, setting in motion a series of events leading to tragedy. Resonant with longing and a sense of isolation, the novel brings alive the agonies and ecstasies of growing up, sexual discovery, and how the need to belong can shape both decisions and destinies.
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