Snowflake: A Novel
In Snowflake, Louise Nealon takes her readers to the deep end of the proverbial pool. On the surface of this novel, eighteen-year-old Debbie attempts to find her identity as a young adult as she begins commuting from the rural dairy farm of her childhood to Trinity College in the big city of Dublin. However, Debbie has secrets. Debbie’s mother Maeve dances naked in nettles, sleeps most of the day in a bedroom plastered with poems, and believes her dreams are prophecies. Debbie literally loses herself in other people’s dreams when she sleeps, making it seem that she may be following in Maeve’s footsteps. When a tragic accident occurs on the farm, Debbie’s future becomes even more precarious.
Nealon delves into themes such as the possibly of hereditary mental illness leading to violent self-harm and catatonia, pervasive alcoholism including drinking until blacking out, resultant promiscuity, and the perniciousness of family secrets. However, she handles these subjects with sensitivity and insight in such a way that it makes Snowflake an utterly compelling novel. While at times uncomfortable and disconcerting to read, this is a well-crafted novel that is well worth the discomfort.
|Page Count||336 pages|
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