Sunday, June 08, 2008
Nicole Baart's Summer Snow ~ Reviewed
Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers (April 2, 2008)
Julia DeSmit is finally learning to accept her new life. Optimistic and anxious to begin again after dropping out of college, she is taking fumbling steps down a challenging yet hope-filled road. But the careful existence Julia has begun to build falls hopelessly to pieces when her estranged mother, Janice, appears on the front porch one icy March night. Mother and daughter have not seen or talked in ten years, and a decade of anger, resentment, and bitterness follows in Janice's wake, along with a surprise Julia could never have anticipated. Julia is convinced that which is broken cannot be mended. Yet when she faces the very decision her mother did years before, she begins to realize what it means to truly accept grace. Will it be her undoing, or the impetus for a change she'd never dared hope for?
Summer Snow is a story about loss and hungers, sorrows and loss of hope. Broken characters bounce off of each other in vain attempts to have the depth of their need quenched. Nicole Baart takes us into the midst of a family facing hard things and she weaves such a tapestry of poignancy and ache that at times I had to stop to breathe.
Jesus is barely mentioned but He's there working in the lives and hearts of the characters. As I started into the story I wondered for just a few pages if Julia's voice wasn't a little old for a 19-year-old. And then I realized that Julia's soul had borne sorrow for so long that it fit well. Her journey is eased by her delightful grandmother, Nellie, and a tiny handful of friends.
I didn't get to read Baart's first novel, but I read a review and knew that I had to put it on my to-read list, now it's moved up to the top. It's just a matter of time before Baart brings home a Christy award. She masters words and she masters story.
Reviewed by: Kelly Klepfer