A brilliant and beautiful contemporary novel about love and memory from the author of the bestselling novels All He Ever Wanted and The Pilot's Wife.
The events of a December afternoon, during which a father and his daughter find an abandoned infant in the snow, will forever alter the 11-year-old girl's understanding of the world and the adults who inhabit it: a father who has taken great pains to remove himself from society in order to put an unthinkable tragedy behind him; a young woman who must live with the consequences of the terrible choices she has made; and a detective whose cleverness is exceeded only by his sense of justice.
Written from the point of view of 30-year-old Nicky as she recalls the vivid images of that fateful December, her tale is one of love and courage, of tragedy and redemption, and of the ways in which the human heart always seeks to heal itself.
An after-school stroll leads to a life-altering event for widower Robert Dillon and his 12-year-old daughter, Nicky, in this delicate new novel by acclaimed author Shreve (All He Ever Wanted,etc.). In the woods surrounding their secluded home in Shepherd, N.H., Robert and Nicky make a startling discovery--a baby abandoned and left to die in the snow. The infant survives, but the incident leaves its mark. Still recovering from the painful loss of her mother and infant sister two years earlier, and readjusting to the shock of a sudden move from suburban Westchester to rural Shepherd, Nicky struggles to reconcile her innocent notions of adult integrity with the bleak reality of their discovery. The tenuous sense of normalcy Robert manages to sustain is broken with the appearance of Charlotte, the baby's young mother, on his doorstep. Retold 18 years later by an adult Nicky but written in the present tense, the story shifts brilliantly between childlike visions of a simple world and the growing realization of its cruel ambiguities. Aside from a few saccharine moments and a rather pat ending, Shreve does a skilled job of portraying grief, conflict and anger while leaving room for hope, redemption and renewal. Her characters are sympathetic without being pitiable, and her prose remains deceptively simple and eloquent throughout.
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Showing 1-2 of the 2 most recent reviews
1 . Not much to talk about
Posted February 15, 2010 by Neighner , Council Bluffs, IAVery slow paced book. I finished reading it. Although I'm not sure why. I guess I like to finish things I start. Although there are better books out there worth your time.
2 . An Engrossing Read
Posted December 28, 2009 by ck , BirminghamI read this book in two days and loved every minute of it. The book pulls you in from the very first page. It is an easy read and I quickly grew to love the characters. The only negative comment I can make is that I did not like the ending but it was still an excellent book. Enjoy!
Little, Brown and Company
October 11, 2004
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