The Taste of Snow
When Nicole Kinders stops at Boznik’s market stall on the way to school so her sister, Ashley, can buy a sweet, the proprietor gives Nicole a candy cane he claims is magic. “The magic will be revealed,” he says, mysteriously. Nicole thanks him and hurries on to school.
That afternoon, Nicole intervenes in a quarrel between her neighbor, Max Brunheim, and another student. It’s out of character for Nicole to become involved in others’ quarrels. The next day, while skiing with Ashley, Nicole is hit by a golf ball struck by one of the Brunheim brothers. Thus begins a series of events that make Nicole question what kind of magic emanates from the candy cane.
Soon, Nicole comes down with a severe cold. Then her house catches fire when her parents aren’t home, and she is forced to go to the Brunheim’s farm for help. While her neighbors help and the builders are restoring fire damage, Nicole is convinced the cane’s magic is malevolent.
On St. Nicholas day, Nicole cuts school in order to visit Mr. Boznik and give back the cane. Instead, he convinces Nicole the cane has only given her good magic. Realizing she has a whole day to fill, she goes for a walk to the edge of town. Snow has begun to fall, and by the time it becomes a real blizzard, Nicole is lost. After a rescue tinged with mystery, Nicole is forced to see things in a different light.
This was a beautifully told tale with exquisite language. In addition to a gripping story, the reader is given brilliant descriptions of the Austrian Alps, snippets of Austrian culture, and details of holiday traditions in ways that only enhance the story. I was truly sorry to see the book end.
|Stephen V. Masse
|Good Harbor Press
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