Today’s team review is from Liz.
Liz blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/
Liz has been reading Snow Angels by Jenny Loudon
This is a story of love; of tragedy and grief, of friendship and prejudice and of guilt and forgiveness. Amelie, a children’s nurse living in Oxford with her husband and young son looks forward to completing her training, but suddenly a terrible accident destroys her happy world. Unable to cope in Oxford she travels to Sweden to be with her much loved grandmother Cleome. Physically and emotionally Amelie needs cherishing and time to understand what has happened but Cleome has also suffered loss and they cling to each other through a harsh Swedish winter in the countryside next to a beautiful lake. They are supported by Cleome’s neighbours, especially Helen, a doctor, and they struggle through the cold season sometimes with hope but frequently in despair.
Cleome is guided by the rhythms of the year, celebrating the solstice with its promise of returning light, foraging in the forest for natural harvests and enjoying the return of summer. Amelie loves winter despite the extreme cold, and the peace of their surroundings helps her to heal. As readers, we share their feelings and gradually learn more of a secret from Cleome’s past. Amelie finds a soul mate in Tarek, a young refugee from war-torn Syria, who has lost loved ones. An asylum seeker, he experiences racism such as we are familiar with in this country.
After briefly returning to Oxford for unfinished business, Amelie and Cleome come back to summer in Sweden. Amelie helps Helen with her medical visits to refugee families while Cleome tries to reunite with someone from her past. The long recovery period of both women is played out against the changes of nature as the guilt they bear softens. The beginning of a new future for the whole community is revealed in a very satisfactory conclusion. At times gripping and very sad, the outcome of hope and new life makes this beautiful novel life-enhancing.
An accident. That’s all it was.
Amelie Tierney is working hard, furthering her nursing career in Oxford. She has a loving husband and a small son, who is not yet two. She jogs through the streets of her beloved city most days, does not see enough of her lonely mother, and misses her grandmother who lives in a remote wooden house, beside a lake in Sweden.
And then, one sunny October morning, it happens—the accident that changes everything and leaves Amelie fighting to survive.
Set amid the gleaming spires of Oxford and the wild beauty of a Swedish forest, this is a story about one woman’s hope and her courage in the face of the unthinkable.