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Light on Snow

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3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  19,221 ratings  ·  1,418 reviews
What makes a family? That's what twelve-year-old Nicky Dillon wonders after she and her widowed father discover a wailing abandoned baby in the snow-filled woods near their New Hampshire home. Through the days that follow, the Dillons and an unexpected visitor who soon turns up at their door-a young woman evidently haunted by her own terrible choices-face a thicket of deci...more
Paperback, 282 pages
Published December 1st 2006 by Little Brown and Company (first published 2004)
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Community Reviews

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Claire
Finishing either the 4th or 5th Anita Shreve book and I'm just wrecked, as usual. It happens the same way every time so far. I begin reading, the story is set on the East Coast, Vermont, New Hampshire, by the ocean, and I think to myself, hmm, I don't think I can relate to this. The character seems cold, or strange, alien. Then a few page turns and I'm enraptured.

Shreve has a talent that I wish I had, the talent of describing something that is indescribable to most people. Daily moments or fe...more
Daniel Baxter
Jul 21, 2007 Daniel Baxter rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults
I read this book to be a good book club member. The target audience appeared to be young adult women, so this book was not really my thing. That being said, it took only about four hours to read, which was a plus (and is why the book is worthy of two stars). Many of the characters seemed like caricatures, and many of their actions were not very believable. The narrator was supposedly 30 at the time the narration was occurring, but sounds like she is 12. Young adult women who like coming of age s...more
Margitte
I found the book in a quaint, but minuscule secondhand bookshop in the middle of nowhere. Since I've read one of the author's books before, I decided to read this one as well. It was such a delight to find in the first place there. It was one of the very few better choices. And I liked the reading experience.

A twelve-year-old girl, Nicky, and her widowed dad, Robert, finds a baby in the snow. The Dillon's secluded life out in the New Hampshire's woods are suddenly not so simple anymore. They sav...more
Valerie
Jul 16, 2012 Valerie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: People dealing with grief, coming of age
Recommended to Valerie by: Nadine Perry
I am glad I didn't base whether to read this book on the reviews here because I think a lot of people didn't "get it," and maybe that's Shreve's failing, but I've observed that, by and large, people don't really understand grief until they experience it first hand, unfortunately. I know that I did not. So I think that people who have experienced the kind of grief that keeps you from getting out of bed will really appreciate this book, and those who have had blissfully uneventful lives will miss...more
Joy Barnes
I’ve never read Anita Shreve before, but I picked up this book at the Tokyo airport… it was a name I recognized and there were not a lot of English books to chose from. It turned out be a good choice. I enjoyed the book because the story and the characters seemed real. It was if this situation of finding a baby in the snow and plot that follows, could happen to anyone. I found that I was putting myself in the characters’ shoes asking what I would do in the same situation. I don’t want to simplif...more
Erin
Mar 01, 2008 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Erin by: Julia
This book was a quick read, which I was in dire need of. The plot was interesting enough to keep my attention, although there were points where the author merely mentioned what would come of a certain seemingly insignificant event (i.e. When Nicky and her dad help shovel out the woman's car at the end of the novel and the author merely states: "In the spring, my father will stop at the cottage with the wash outside and find a kind of love there with a woman and her there sons that in years to co...more
Jennifer
If you enjoy a quick delve into the nature of grief, love, and family, but don't want to be overwhelmed with vicarious pain, then this is a good pick for you.

The story is told in the first person by a woman looking back after many years on herself as an adolescent, but she uses the present tense for the current events of the story, and the past tense for longer-ago flashback events. I thought this made it feel less like a memoir and gave it more urgency. The author underlines the emotional eleme...more
David Bennatan
All ratings systems are relative. I really liked this book but I couldn't give it four stars because other four star books were much better.
This is "a modest work" according to a review on the back of the book. There are very few characters, a single plot line with references to something that took place in the past and
essentially one setting. It hardly qualifies as a novel. As I read it in two sittings it seems like an extended short story. I'm not worried about the definition, I just want to...more
Diane Chamberlain
One of my favorite Shreve titles. I loved the teenaged character, and I adore Shreve's writing.
Diane
I enjoyed this book. While I have been disappointed with the latest installments of Shreve's books, this one came through.

It's a character driven book, told by Nicky, the daughter of Robert Dillon. These are two people who have experienced much pain and tragedy in their lives. Nicky has lost her mother and her baby sister earlier in an accident. Her dad is all she has left. With the discovery in the woods of an abandoned baby, their lives unravel revealing layers that may never have been uncove...more
Kelly
Dec 01, 2008 Kelly rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Women - I don't think this is one guys would like
This was a quick read, but a charming little story. Don't expect a blockbuster plot, don't expect something momentous. Just take it for what it is and you won't be disappointed. It's more of a snapshot of the life of a father and daughter who live in an isolated cabin during a snowstorm and the finding of a baby in the snow which adds some drama and excitement into their lives - something that it sounds like the daughter really needs.

Shreve did an EXCELLENT portrayal of a teenage daughter here....more
Dale Harcombe
Light on Snow reminded me why I like Anita Shreve’s writing. The story of Nicky and Robert Dillon, her father, who find a new born baby in the snow while walking in the woods is simply told and caught me from the beginning. It is an easy read yet manages to uncover layers of how people make the decisions they do, as well as how they handle. Nicky and her father have suffered tragedy in their lives with the death of his wife and baby Clara. Nicky grieves for her mother and baby Clara, but in a ve...more
Karen
Jun 03, 2010 Karen rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: I would recommend a different Shreve book
Light on Snow is good, if a little, well...light

This is the second book I've read by Anita Shreve (the first being Eden Close) and I did enjoy both. I read this book in two sittings--it's easy and quick to read. The premise was very good and I thought the plot would be very interesting. It did hold my interest, as I wanted to see how the story finally resolved itself. But it ended up not to be as interesting as I anticipated. The bulk of the text was extremely redundant. Over and over again it s...more
Melissa
I found this book to be slow going at first, but it finally picked up in the middle just when I was wondering if the author had anything planned for the progression of the plot!While this novel made me think about what I would do if I lost part of my family and about what it might have felt like to deal with a pregnancy in college at nineteen, I never really was drawn into any of the characters or felt like they had much depth to them except for the loss that each of them feels for the people fo...more
Saman
رمان (نور بر برف) از جمله رمان‌هايي به حساب مي‌آيد كه به اهميّتِ انسان و رعايت عواطف آن كه تمامِ هستي يك انسان را تشكيل مي‌دهد، پرداخته است. اين‌كه هر يك از ما داستاني، رازي، دردي ناگفتني داريم و اين راز، داستان يا درد تا پايان عمر با ما همراه است و سعي مي‌كنيم با آن به جدال درآييم و بر آن غلبه كنيم و در آخر به نقطه‌اي مي‌رسيم كه تسليم مي‌شويم و با آن و در كنار آن
تا پايان عمر زندگي مي‌كنيم

طرح اين رمان، حكايت دختري دوازده ساله است كه همراه پدرش هنگام قدم زدن در فصل زمستان به نوزاد تازه‌ به دنيا...more
Margi
I could not put this book down. I was totally engrossed in the storyline, plot and characters. This was a compelling, touching yet easy read. It tugged at my hearstrings as I shared the pain, grief, loss and loneliness that jumped out at me. I am not giving away much here other than it is told from a 12 year old's perspective as she reflects back on a time in her life when she is an adult. As she is telling the story it shifts backwards and forwards which helped me gain a better understanding of...more
Carter
I really am enjoying this book. It has taken me so long to finish, but I really do love it. I read one of her other books (you can see my review of Rescue on my profile) and absolutely loved it. This one feels like a different author, though. She feels, older here, maybe more experienced? At any rate, the writing in this book is fabulous.
While the story line jumps and makes me think about multiple plots at once, it is still interesting, and it hits a nice medium of interesting and complicated. I...more
Jenny Britton
I love the simplicity of this book. It described the mourning of a Father and daughter, capturing the agony even after years. Imposed on the lives of the father and daughter is the drama of finding a baby in the snow and then the baby's mother who comes into their lives. The snow, the cabin, the cold and how they live is vivid through the eyes of the daughter, Nicky. It is a plausible story without improbable meetings and coincidences. I cared for the characters and hoped they would be alright i...more
Duane
What happens when a 12 year old girl and her father find a crying baby in the snow filled woods next to there home? Well, you will have to read Light on Snow to find out. I think you will be glad you did because it is another well written story by Anita Shreve that grabs hold of you and keeps you entertained and turning pages. I have read all of Anita Shreve's books, although I haven't shelved them all on Goodreads yet. They have all been very good and several of them are exceptional. If you hav...more
Jennifer
This was really a lovely book. The premise is sad: a 12 year old girl and her father who have moved to an isolated house in New Hampshire after the mother and baby sister die in a car crash in New York are walking through the woods between their house and a small nearby motel and find (and save) a just-born baby that has been left in a sleeping bag to die on a winter night. But the story that follows is a beautiful, well-written compelling story of healing, hope, and forgiveness.

One passage real...more
Amy Jacobs
This is a book I stumbled across in the library. It is not a new book, the publication date is 2004. It is a haunting story about life, death, and coming of age. Nicky Dillon and her father have experienced great loss after an accident kills mother and younger daughter. The father tries to cope by moving to an isolated part of New Hampshire. One day close to Christmas, Nicky and her father are taking a snowshoe walk in the winter snow, and respond to a baby cry. They are stunned to find a newbor...more
Shawn
I used to love to read this author, and then got soured by her last...well...six books. I found this one in a used book store and decided to give it a try. I was rather pleasantly surprised.

A father and his young daughter live in upstate New Hampshire---its the dead of winter, and they live in a remote location, so they take their snowshoes out and go on walks every evening. As they walk in the woods one night, they hear a strange noise. They think that it might be a wounded animal, and go to i...more
Jayne Bowers
I felt the cold air, saw the falling snow, and tasted the sweet hot chocolate that Nicky loved to drink. That's how powerful the descriptions of events and sensations were. I was there when Nicky and her father found the bright-eyed newborn and with Nicky and Charlotte as they trudged back to the place where the baby had been abandoned. I was with Robert Dillon in the dreary police station as he was being interviewed by Warren...and with Nicky as she waited for her father. The descriptions of sc...more
Amy
Three word review: It was alright.

More words than that review: I just bought Fortune's Rocks from a charity shop and, half-surprising myself, really enjoyed it. So when I saw a couple more of Anita Shreve's in another charity shop for mere pennies, I decided to pick them up too. This was a slightly weird book for me to be reading now, really: it's set at Christmas in new England; right now it's a very sunny June in the real England. Metaphorically snow everywhere while I was laying in the sun!...more
Katie
Dec 29, 2008 Katie rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rachel
This book is about a young girl and her dad. They recently lost their mom/wife and sister/daughter in a car accident in new york. They move away to a small town. One day they are snow shoeing and they hear a wail, they think it's just a cat or some other animal. But it ends up being a baby. They grb the baby and go to the hospital to save it. They get questioned by dectives and akll that good stuff. Then a lady comes to their dorr asking to look at some furniture to buy but it ends upo being the...more
Jess
What does it take to be a family?

“A cry of an angle nestled by darkness, hidden inside a quite and white snow..” Nicky and her father (Robert Dillon) made a trip to the woods that night. An unwinding moments turns into saving a new born child. They found her, inside the bag, surrounded by blankets full of blood. Is it still alive? Is it still breathing?. nicky was horrified of what she and her father saw. As she pushes her vision to see whats inside those blankets, little eyes, tiny lips and lou...more
Maggie
A quick, intense read that left no lingering after-taste in my mouth - like a half-decent table wine, it neither offended nor offered any sublimity to remember. The perspective of the 12-year-old narrator was raw and honest and sensitive and not always wholly likeable - much like a real pre-teen - but her resilience in the face of all the tragedy she'd seen was refreshing.

An excerpt:
'I watched my father run forward in his snowshoes the way one sometimes does in dreams, unable to make the legs mo...more
Bethany
Mar 14, 2011 Bethany rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Teenagers, girls
I listened to the audiobook, and am pretty sure that is the only reason I finished it. The story has promise, but completely lost my interest when I realized the plot wasn't going to be very in-depth. The narrator says she's retelling the story of her 12-year old self as an adult, but there is very little to remind you of that as the story is told. The voice is naive, inexperienced, and without the intelligence and hindsight that you'd expect an adult to give a story they're recounting from thei...more
Joanne
I enjoyed this book very much. Was an easy read with some predictability but overall the characters were pretty well developed and interesting. Always fascinated to learn more about the human experiences that people face and how they handle them. Found the narration of the book through the perceptions of a 12 year old girl stunning at times. Wondered if I might not always give enough credit to someone that age as the character in the book had some very adult observations. I liked how she was abl...more
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Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). A...more
More about Anita Shreve...
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“I thought about how one tiny decision can change a life. A decision that takes only a split second to make.” 68 likes
“My mother taught me to knit when I was seven. I forgot about knitting until one day I saw Marion at the counter with hers and confessed that I knew how. Confessed is the right word. In those days, in the early 1980s, knitting was not a hobby a preteen would readily admit to. But Marion, every enthusiastic, pounced upon me and insisted that I show her something I'd made. I did -- a misshapen scarf -- which she priased exravagantly. she lent me a raspberry-colored wool for another project, a hat for myself. Since then I've been knitting pretty continuously. It's addictive and it's soothing, and fora a few minutes anyway, it makes me feel closer to my mother.” 5 likes
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