The Sudden Weight of Snow (advanced reading copy)

by Laisha Rosnau | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0771075804 Global Overview for this book
Registered by N8an of Ottawa, Ontario Canada on 10/27/2002
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4 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by N8an from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Sunday, October 27, 2002
Having gotten this one as a freebie, I've not read it yet. BookExpo tends to load me down with new titles, and I then spend a year trying to catch up to them...

Journal Entry 2 by N8an from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Friday, February 21, 2003
I'm releasing this one to Gumshoe007 - to get it to idioteqnician - to give it a bit of a trip to Calgary and back.

Hrm.

Journal Entry 3 by idioteqnician from Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Sunday, February 23, 2003
Many thanks to N8an and my sister, Gumshoe007, for doing a bit of leg work so that I could read this book! I caught a bus from Montreal to Ottawa this morning and had lunch with my sister. She handed the book off to me and I started it in the afternoon on a flight from Ottawa to Calgary. I'll journal again when I am finished.

Journal Entry 4 by idioteqnician from Oxford, Oxfordshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 03, 2003
“The Sudden Weight of Snow” is a very satisfying read. I read it a chapter at a time because I found I would want to put it down and let the words sink in before I absorbed more. I often went back and re-read sentences or even paragraphs a second time because I enjoyed them so much. This is Laisha Rosnau’s first book and I think it is better than the writing of many other more experienced writers. She writes for all five senses. Reading this book was enjoyable because it was so easy to imagine everything she describes. The images are dense and, as the title suggests, everything seems to have weight. Every little action, everything Rosnau describes, it all seems to resonate long after the narrative has moved on.

This is a book about longing and desire and about the intangibility of emotions and human interactions. Each time that Harper, the 17 year old girl at the centre of the story, is close to understanding her history and how it is tied to her present, everything seems to shift and she is once again left in the dark. Memories seem to overlap and curl in on themselves for each character, so that no one is sure of exactly where they came from or how they got to where they are.

The book explores everyday life growing up in the 1980s in a small British Columbia saw mill town. I laughed out loud quite a few times because Rosnau’s descriptions can be so dead on. She nails the pathetic urgency of being young and feeling trapped and not knowing how to get out. She also depicts a genuine bond between Harper and her best friend, Krista. I also liked Rosnau’s thoughts on hippie culture. She depicts it existing in the 1960s as both earnest and hypocritical, but she also explores where youth from the 1960s went in the twenty years after. Another strong theme in the book is how family shapes who we are. Rosnau explores how mothers and fathers project their own fears and regrets onto daughters and sons, but also how sons and daughters can fail to recognize the human-ness of their parents. More than anything, however, this book is about how Harper becomes an adult and central to that is a strange kind of love story. I was surprised how involved I got and how badly I wanted the characters to do the right thing.

My only complaint about this book was that the last major event in the book was sort of predictable. That disappointed me because I spent the majority of the book having no idea what would happen next. I won’t say too much here (I wish I could discuss the book with someone while it is still fresh in my mind!), but in a book where the characters’ lives are determined by their own emotions and actions rather than coincidence, fate, or karma, I thought Rosnau abandoned some of the momentum of the book and chose an easy way out. That’s not really a criticism, though, because I really did enjoy every moment of this book and Rosnau still won me over in the end simply by being a good writer. I didn’t want the book to end because I enjoyed the characters so much. I’m looking forward to Rosnau’s next book.

Did anyone else think “The Sudden Weight of Snow” would make a really good movie?

Release planned for Tuesday, March 04, 2003 at CONTROLLED RELEASE in Montreal, Quebec Canada.

Bayouposte emailed me asking if she could get in on the little tour this book is taking. My sister, Gumshoe007, said her TBR list is pretty long at the moment so it was fine if I sent The Sudden Weight of Snow to Bayouposte first and then Bayouposte will send it on to my sister when she's done.

Enjoy!

Journal Entry 6 by bayouposte from Bossier City, Louisiana USA on Monday, March 10, 2003
Nicholas, this book was waiting when I got back in town...a nice welcome home present! I really appreciate you sending it on and will pm Gumshoe007 as soon as I finish reading it. :)

Journal Entry 7 by bayouposte from Bossier City, Louisiana USA on Tuesday, March 11, 2003
After reading the book, I read Idioteqnician's review and found that there was little I could add. All of the things I thought of during and immediately after reading, he has discussed beautifully.

Laisha Rosnau is an extremely promising writer for all of the reasons Idioteqnician mentioned, and I certainly hope to have the opportunity to read more of her work.

Idioteqnician mentioned that "as the title suggests, everything seems to have weight." This may be one of the novel's greatest achievements because from very early on, I *felt* the weight of the accumulation of detail that resulted in ...almost...anxiety. Not the kind of suspense that a mystery writer builds, but the suspense of real life as you watch a friend or loved one and fear for him or her. What is important is that I felt it, was aware of it, but did not feel manipulated because Rosnau is able to accurately depict characters and events in remarkably realistic, logical, and believable manner.

This novel will now return to Canada to Gumshoe007.

Journal Entry 8 by gumshoe007 from Gatineau, Québec Canada on Tuesday, April 08, 2003
This book is now back in my hands, but sadly enough, I've not the time to read it. Oh, woe is me. I will return it to N8an tonight at the BC meet-up in the hopes that I might be so lucky for it to come my way again one day.

Journal Entry 9 by N8an from Ottawa, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, April 08, 2003
Wow - after the journey this book made and the reviews it has earned, I shall endeavour to read it quite soon. Gumshoe007 delivered it back into my hands for me. Danke, all!

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