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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
The Snowflake
Format: Hardcover|Change

on 12 April 2011
I hadn't realised when I picked up this book that it was an `inspirational' story - which is the American term for Christian literature, I gather. When I realised I wasn't too confident I'd like the story - my British mentality likes certain things to be kept relatively private and faith is one of them. I've read a couple of `inspirational' novels before and they've been toe-curlingly in-your-face about Christianity with characters behaving most weirdly - they would have made me run a mile in real life.

`The Snowflake' wasn't like that, fortunately. There's a thread of faith running through the story but it doesn't go overboard and people don't behave bizarrely; instead, it's a backdrop to their lives as they try to survive in what is a hostile and frightening part of the world.

The story is set in 1897 during the Alaskan Gold Rush. Our heroine, Ellen Pierce, is travelling with her brother, a violent and controlling man, to stake out their claim. However, the steamship they are on gets stuck in the ice and a small group of passengers decides to try to walk to Dawson City rather than spend the winter on the boat. Led by Buck Lewis, the sort of chap one clearly wants in a crisis like this, they set out on the two week march. Not all goes well on this march, and when the bedraggled group finally arrive at Dawson there are still problems to be overcome.

I particularly liked the unusual plot direction when Ellen arrives in Dawson and her rather singular new friend. I was expecting rather more disapprobation about the behaviour and life choices of some of the characters in the book but the author seemed to have an understanding of human nature, of loneliness and more. Although a romance, I felt that side of the story was actually secondary to the message about people and their worth and the need to drive away loneliness. I enjoyed reading about life in Alaska and the variety of people one might meet.
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