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Light On Snow    by Anita Shreve order for
Light On Snow
by Anita Shreve
Order:  USA  Can
Little, Brown & Co., 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Shannon Bigham

Although Anita Shreve is a well known, acclaimed author, I did not try one of her books until earlier this year when I read Eden Close (which I enjoyed immensely). So I was excited to have the opportunity to read her latest, Light On Snow, which chronicles a surprising, heartfelt adventure that a widowed father and his twelve-year-old daughter, Nicky, experience during a cold, lonely December.

The story is told from thirty-year-old Nicky's point of view as she recalls that fateful time of her life. When Nicky was a young child, she and her father lived in the city in New York. They relocated to a secluded countryside to begin a new life after a tragic accident killed Nicky's mother and her baby sister - which left Nicky and her father practically suffocating with grief. Nicky's father soldiered on with daily life after the death of his wife and baby daughter, but had become a changed man who craved solitude and could no longer copy with city life. One frigid day in December when Nicky was twelve, she and her father took their daily walk through the woods. After they heard a strange cry, a quick inspection of the surrounding area revealed a newborn baby abandoned in the snow. The shocking discovery of this fragile infant changed the lives of a handful of people forever: Nicky, her grieving father, a young mother suffering from a terrible choice, and an inquisitive yet just local detective, determined to find the baby's parents.

Shreve is a fantastic writer and the reader truly gets to know her characters. The story itself is a page-turner although it is not a book of suspense. It is filled with real people experiencing true emotions through everyday life. It is sometimes shockingly intense but always realistic. Being a Floridian, I was also fascinated to read about the bitterly cold Northeast winters. Light On Snow was a pleasure to read because it is well written, heartfelt and engrossing. Fans of Shreve will not be disappointed with her new release, which I highly recommend to all who enjoy literary fiction.

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