I met Carey Jane Clark a couple of years ago. She’s a fellow expat and homeschooler, so we have lots in common. She and her family have been a huge source of encouragement and support to us Stewarts. We consider them good friends.
A few weeks ago Carey asked if I would consider doing a review of her first novel, After the Snow Falls. To be honest, I was hesitant. Remember, up there where I said she was a good friend? Right, so, what if the book isn’t any good? Her blog is good. Her conversation is good. But a book is a huge undertaking. And just so you know, she wrote it while temporarily living in Canada, moving often, homeschooling 3 kids, and traveling alot!! How on earth could she also write a good book? So, I took the coward’s way out. I downloaded the sample on my Kindle.
Not sure why I was worried.
When I got to the end of the sample, I was in tears, and I immediately hit the “buy now” link.
So, now I’m faced with an even harder dilemma, After the Snow Falls is fantastic. How on earth do I write a review that will do it justice? The story is about Celia, who is dealing with a painful past and her son’s recent diagnosis of terminal cancer.
A mother’s worst nightmare. A father’s earnest desire.
Can she embrace hope? Can she forgive? Will it be too late?
After the Snow Falls is a page turner. There are so many decisions to be made by Celia as she faces Caleb’s diagnosis and the unexpected return of her wayward father. This is the kind of story that could get complicated and bunged up really quickly, but it doesn’t. The plot is complex, but smooth and realistic. I ended up putting the book on my iPhone so I could read it standing on the train. (And in line at the grocery store, and in bed without a light, and when I should have been making supper…)
It’s been a long time since a book has gripped my attention like this.
The characters are very well developed. Their personalities are so real that you would swear you had actual conversations with them. Even minor characters are unique and memorable. The settings are beautifully described, you can practically smell the woods of the Ottawa Valley or the sterile hospital rooms. Even with description, the book never seems wordy, more like watching a movie on paper.
The emotions are real. So real. Without being over-dramatic. You can sense the panic of trips to the emergency room, the sincerity of friends trying to help, the warmth of those that encourage.
If you have a couple of days where you can totally ignore your family to become engrossed in a story, (like right now. Cereal for supper is actually good for kids once in a while. Teaches them gratitude or something) I highly recommend After the Snow Falls by Carey Jane Clark available now for your e-reader, and coming soon in print.