Monday, November 3, 2014

Bookin' It: The Sudden Weight of Snow

Author: Laisha Rosnau

1 sentence summary: The Sudden Weight of Snow by Laisha Rosnau is about coming of age in a small town, where everyone has a pretty solid idea of how you're supposed to behave and who you're supposed to be.

Setting: The made up town of Sawmill Creek, BC 

Main Character: Harper, aged 17

Themes: family, coming of age, place, societal expectations, female friendships, first love, grief

What I loved:

Rosnau really gets what it's like to grow up in a small, resource dependant community, where gender roles are rarely challenged and good behaviour is the backbone of the community. The story is told from the first person perspective of Harper, who has a few qualms about the 'natural order' of things in her hometown.  If you have ever been a teenage girl in a small resource dependent town, this story is about that town. 

 Harper is incredibly endearing. She's smart--maybe smarter than is realistic in an average teenage girl. But I'm an idealist, so that's pretty important to me. She's not entirely sure who she wants to be, but she's certain it's not the person that she's supposed to be. She's a rebel, but not a mindless one--she doesn't act out just for the sake of acting out. The boundaries of acceptability are pretty narrow, and she just wants a little room to be different without being an outcast. 

It's really hard to do this book justice. It was funny and so very sad in some parts. I have read it more than five times--no lie. Ok, I wrote a chapter of my thesis on it, so I had to read it over and over again. But, I never got sick of it. In fact, I chose my thesis topic based on this book, because I knew that if I was going to get married to any book and spend my life with it, it had to be this book. 

Swears: yes

Sex: yes

Gore: no

Drugs and Alcohol: yes

Read it if you liked:  A Complicated Kindness: A Novel by Miriam Toews, or The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson, The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls, The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

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