Arts & Living
"Light on Snow" and "Eleven Minutes"
Light on SnowIn Anita Shreve's 11th novel the narrator is 30-year-old Nicky Dillon who is looking back to her 12th year, living with her father in an isolated farmhouse near the town of Shepherd, New England. One winter's afternoon while snowshoeing with her father along a favorite walk they discover something truly awful — a new-born baby, wrapped in a slippery sleeping bag, abandoned in the snow. They hasten to get her to the hospital and save her life.The Dillon's are a recovering family — two years previously Nicky's mother and baby sister were killed in a horrific car crash. Three months after that they move from urban New York to very rural New England. Their life there is very different, isolated and enclosed. Robert Dillon, Nicky's father, retreats from the world in his grief.They don't have a TV and, although Nicky has a radio in her room she plays it low so the sound doesn't pass her bedroom walls. Nicky yearns for a sense of normality, a family life. She seems to be old beyond her years, living with a grim shadow of a man who, only at times, resembles the father she had before the accident. "My father and I are technically a family," Nicky muses, "but it's a word neither of us would ever use. Yes, we are father and daughter, but because we were once members of a family that was torn apart, we think of ourselves now as half a family or a shadow family."Then they find the little girl in the snow, almost on the anniversary of the death of her mother and baby sister. The coincidence is merciless — one child dead; another saved. Nicky quickly begins to imagine what would happen if they could keep the baby they found. She imagines what her sister would be like if she were still alive. She thinks of being a family again, of living a normal life again — something her father tries in vain to stop her from doing.A young woman, Charlotte, arrives at their house. She wants to buy some of the furniture Robert Dillon makes by hand in the barn. Soon it becomes apparent that this is not the truth and she confesses to being the mother of the abandoned baby. Having read a newspaper article she comes to them looking for information about her child. Robert wants nothing to do with her, but Nicky is fascinated, and as a rough blizzard keeps them house-bound the true nature of the baby's abandonment becomes known.
Author: Anita Shreve
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Price: 24,000 won (Hardcover)
Author: Paulo Coelho (Translated by Margaret Jull Costa)
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: 11,320 won
Other Articles by Edel Codd
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The Mystery of Korea Found in Temple Stays
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Contradictions of Medicine
Huntington's New "Clash of Civilizations"
Edel Codd, a writer and avid reader, is currently working as staff writer for The Seoul Times. Having lived two years in Wonju she is currently working on a collection of short stories. Edel has a BA of History, Sociology and Politics from the University College Galway in Ireland.
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