written by Áine Greaney
published by Pixel Hall Press
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Did I enjoy this book: Yes, very much.
“Snow” is a short story about going home. In this case, it’s to care for an elderly father with whom our main character has a tense relationship. She contrasts her life in New York against her former life in Dublin. Once she returns to her birthplace, all the old memories, old wounds, and broken relationships resume as if she’d never been gone.
“Snow” is a story many readers can relate to. It’s beautifully written in a stream of consciousness format. Stream of consciousness writing leaves a writer vulnerable to sounding chopped up. I think she makes it work in this story, however.
I read the short story three times and while I believe the snow as she contrasts the huge storms in New York against the light dusting in Dublin is supposed to be symbolic. I couldn’t figure out the symbolism. Maybe there wasn’t any. But I’ll probably keep looking for it until I either find something or make something up.
After my first read, I hated the ending. I was reading along, enjoying the story and it stopped mid-action. So I read it a second time. Again, the ending seemed harshly abrupt. By the third reading, the cold, pitiless reality of the ending really summed up her relationship with her father in the most heartbreaking way. I’m kind of sorry I got it because when I finally did, it made me sad.
I guess it’s a good thing this was a short story. I never would have re-read a novel three times. I would have given it a bad review and gone on to the next book. This story was worth the three reads. I’ll probably go in for a fourth to see if I can decipher the symbolism of the snow.
Would I recommend it: Yes. It’s a wonderful story. If you have ideas on the snow symbolism, message me.
About the book: Set in a one-street small town in the Irish midlands, Snow is a stylish portrait of Dolores, a young expatriate Irish woman who is suddenly summoned home from America to take care of her estranged and sick father. In her childhood home, Dolores wrestles with the push and pull between her new American life and her past life in Ireland. As she nurses her father back to health, she is beset by memories and caught between family loyalties and her own desires.
About the author: An Irish native who now lives and writes on Boston’s North Shore, Aine Greaney’s most recent writing recognitions include a Pushcart nomination and selection as a “notable” in Best American Essays 2013. Other writing awards and shortlists include the Hennessy Award for New Irish Writing, the Fish Anthology, the Rubery International Book Award, the Frank O’Connor Award, the Irish News Short Story Award and Indie Lit 2011. Aine is the author of four books (two novels, a short story chapbook collection and a book on writing). Her fifth book What Brought You Here? (a memoir) is a work-in-progress. In addition, her personal essays and short stories have been published in consumer and literary publications such as Salon.com, The Boston Globe Magazine, Forbes, The Daily Muse, Generation Emigration, The Irish Times, Writers Digest and Books by Women. In addition to writing, she presents and teaches at various conferences, book clubs, arts organizations and schools.