Reviewed by Rel Mollet
Summer Snow by Nicole Baart
"The unsurpassed beauty of Nicole's writing creates an ethereal reading experience..."
"Strangely when the world implodes before you, it doesn't make a sound."
Julia deSmidt thought her life difficult enough, adjusting to a job at her local Value Foods store rather than completing her university degree, struggling financially and feeling overwhelmed with fears for her future. In an instant those worries seem trivial compared to the emotional assault she experiences when her mother appears on her Grandma's doorstep, ten years following her desertion of Julia and her father.
Janice is destitute, cold and frightened, a mere shell of the vibrant yet distant mother Julia remembers. Janice's desperate need weighs on Julia's conscience but her embittered soul prevails, until Grandma insists they take Janice in. Julia's desire for retribution for the pain Janice caused wars with her need to be loved by the woman who bore her. But Janice comes with a secret, that when revealed, crushes any tiny ember of forgiveness hidden in Julia's heart.
With sensitivity and unerring perception, Nicole Baart pens a tale of three women struggling to survive the emotional upheaval their reunion imparts. Julia's dramatic change in circumstances which took place towards the end of After the Leaves Fall, and the subsequent impact on her emotions and personality are captured perfectly in Summer Snow. Julia's first person voice has altered to reflect her new responsibilities and rings with authenticity. Janice's brokenness and the consequences of her poor choices are reflected with equal depth and poignancy.
The heavy subject matter is tempered by lighter moments with Julia's work colleagues and the joy of an emerging friendship. Grandma's example of faith and sacrificial love is a tribute to many a prayerful grandparent. The unsurpassed beauty of Nicole's writing creates an ethereal reading experience, culminating for me, in the evocative and moving scene which provides the title for this story. Despite the deep and painful emotions Nicole exposes, this novel is ultimately a journey of hope, joy and love that will resonate with me for a long time to come.
Rel Mollet is a lawyer, wife and mother of three young daughters and lives in Melbourne, Australia. Reading has been her passion since childhood. She is a Book Club Co-ordinator and has her own website ~ relzreviewz ~ dedicated to reviews and author interviews with the sole aim to support authors writing from a Christian worldview. She believes Sir Francis Bacon's (1561 - 1626) creed, "Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body".