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The Elegant Gathering of White Snows

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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  1,914 ratings  ·  307 reviews
Eight Women on a Journey That Will Change Their Lives as Lovers, Wives, Mothers, Daughters, Friends

Just after midnight in a small town in Wisconsin, eight women begin walking together down a rural highway. Career women, housewives, mothers, divorcées, and one ex–prom queen, they are close friends who have been meeting every Thursday night for years, sharing food, wine, an
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Paperback, 321 pages
Published June 10th 2003 by Bantam (first published 2002)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,837)
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Heidi
This book is ridiculous. I enjoyed the premise, but was disappointed with the author. It reminded me of the kids in junior high/ high school that always made me roll my eyes as I walked past...the ones who tried to cram as many swear words and sexual references into their conversations as possible.

I tried to get through it because I enjoyed the characters and wanted to see what would happen to them and how their lives would change, but I ended up not finishing. The clincher for me was a sentenc
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Ringthebells
I was disappointed in this book. Reading it, I felt as though I should be playing some sort of chick lit drinking game (one shot for every overused chick lit cliché).

I like chick lit! Or at least, I thought I did. But this book nearly managed to turn me off the whole genre.

The characters were all introduced too quickly, and not adequately distinguished from each other. By the time I finished the book I still couldn't tell most of them apart, and I didn't really care about any of them. I found t
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dianne budd
Ever have to read a book because a Good Friend knows the author and she's “really wonderful”? This was a first, and a true, unrequited act of friendship.

I needed gold lame slippers, a fake fur, some Kleenex, and a big box of bon bons in order to do this book justice. Some of the precious moments included:

Experiences we can all relate to:
(teenage daughter says, in front of her teenage friends): “Mom, you were my first friend – don't you know that that you taught me how to be a friend?...how to k
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Taren
Worst book I've ever read! The characters were not developed well. Radish went into great detail to describe each ones life, but they were inter mixed with other non-relevant characters (whom I actually liked better than the main ones) that you get confused. At the end of the book I couldn't remember each characters background.

Plus WAY too much sexual stuff. It was just littered with it on every page. According to the author every women has some sort of homosexual tendency.

The premise of the b
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Emily
This was sort of my first "chick lit" type of book. I think it borders on estrogen overkill a bit, but i did enjoy it for the most part. The powerful message of this story seems to be that regardless of what's happened in your past, it's never too late to change your path, fullfill your dreams, discover who you really are, to change. Throughout the book the author presents the reader with portraits of each of the women walkers. Their stories are as compelling as they are unique and diverse, but ...more
Amy
Oh my god, this book totally gave me estrogen poisoning. I'm down with the Ya Ya books and their imitators, but there is only so much "embrace your womanhood" that I can take, and this book totally crossed the line.

It's about a diverse group of women in a "study" club (they ostensibly meet to discuss books, politics, etc, but mostly they drink wine and gossip), who get a lot of media attention for taking a 7 day walk. So, I actually thought that sounded pretty good, and it was fine for the firs
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BJ Rose
It took me a long time to read the first 3 chapters, and the only thing that kept me going was that I knew my daughter would ask me how I liked it (she loaned it to me). I started it because it was supposed to be all about friendship, but most of those first chapters leaned very much toward the 'I-am-woman, men-are-pigs' outlook: men are lazy, men get drunk and slap women around, men sleep around, men are lucky to have us, etc. All of those things are true about some men, and all of those things ...more
Liz
Dec 22, 2007 Liz rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: those who like lots of Sweet&Low in their coffee
Shelves: book-club
Read this for my book club - the plot and setting appealed to us (7 women friends in a small Wisconsin town set out on a multi-day walk).

The book was a disappointment right from the beginning. Radish never sufficiently explains why a group of women who've gathered to drink and talk would suddenly take it into their heads at 11 pm to head out the door and start walking. The comment in my book group was, "And just wearing whatever shoes they happened to have on!" Perhaps because all of us have act
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Shannan
I'm struggling to get through this book. Basically it is about a bunch of middle aged women who decide that every trouble in their life is caused by the men in their lives and they decide to go walking on the highway - Forrest Gump style - not talk to anyone and just bitch and moan about the problems in their lives. While I think there is a place for this type of book, I know that for the 100 pages I read this book, I was a total cranky wench to all the men in my life (my husband and three sons) ...more
Terry
I love books about women's friendships with other women,but This is NOT one of them. In fact after reading about a third of it I decided to read some goodreads reviews before going further. Thank you for your reviews which allow me to not finish it. I have a group of 8 friends that I have had since fourth grade. I have another group of nine that have been friends for 25 years and yet another group of about 8 that have been close for 6 years. All of these groups of friends and I have been through ...more
Patty
This is my second Kris Radish book, but apparently this was her first published novel. I read her book The Sunday List of Dreams when it came out. I am not sorry that I have read these books, but I am not sure what Radish is aiming to do with her novels. I do believe she has more in mind than just entertainment.

I usually read for one of two reasons. I read to learn - learn new ideas, new subjects, new worlds. The other reason I read is to become immersed. So immersed in the book that I forget th
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Sharon Bodnar
i have never read a book quite like this--i was ready to start walking myself. however, toward the end was a chapter on one of the "outlier" women, a nun who wanted to dance, was aided by a psychologist to visit a dance studio so she could realize her dream. while the rest of the book seemed very pure and real, this chapter made me uneasy--the woman who helped the nun realize her dream seemed like a predator--and spoiled the experience of reading this book.
Tej
While some of the individual stories were okay, this book's premise was wholly unrealistic. Yes, I imagine there are lots of women who would love to just escape, but no way would eight women actually do it en masse. Nor would something so insignificant in the middle of nowhere become international news. I want the last few days of my life back.

And for the record, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did not exist in 1968. And the Fox River is not in the southern part of the state. And if you take I94
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Kate Ayers
Our book club read this, and we were split on this, maybe leaning toward positive more than negative. I liked almost nothing about it, from the title to the writing. The concept of women deciding to take a break from their lives and go on an indefinite walk actually sounded good. Maybe if there had been only four of them it might have worked better for me. But starting out with eight? Too many characters to keep track of.

We all pretty much agreed, though, that how these women's simple act affec
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Tami Hawley
Aug 10, 2008 Tami Hawley rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Tami by: Wendy
Shelves: favorites
I just started reading this. I'm already bawling my eyes out. Argh...Ok, just finished it. What an amazing book. How you can relate to each character and feel so much of yourself in them. How Radish succeeds at allowing you to feel your own pain, your own hurts...and know it's ok, and you have come far, and you can continue to move in a forward direction. How being yourself is more important than anything else, and the only truth any of us will ever know. Thanks, Wendy, for recommending this aut ...more
Kris - My Novelesque Life
DNF

"Eight Women on a Journey That Will Change Their Lives as Lovers, Wives, Mothers, Daughters, Friends

Just after midnight in a small town in Wisconsin, eight women begin walking together down a rural highway. Career women, housewives, mothers, divorcées, and one ex–prom queen, they are close friends who have been meeting every Thursday night for years, sharing food, wine, and their deepest secrets. But on this particular Thursday, Susan, Alice, Chris, Sandy, Gail, Mary, Joanne, and Janice decid
...more
Cathy
This certainly isn't the best book I've ever read, but it's far from the worst and I am glad I read it. I think the other reviewers have been a touch harsh and I wonder how many of them have a collection of chick lit they actually enjoy. If you don't like chick lit, don't pick up this book. You will hate it. If you do, definitely get this book and read it. It's a powerful catharsis.

A few things I noted and blame not the author, but the editor, for letting pass: more than once the author, speakin
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Marissa
I read both Kris Radish books back to back while on vacation. Again, not a favourite. Again, great concept but it fell flat. I just kept reading in anticipation of it getting better. I held optimism through the first half and then just finished it out of curiosity more than anything. Unfortunately, I love the ideas presented but just feel there could have been so much more meat to this. I was disappointed.
Jean
Excellent, excellent book. Any time a book makes touches your heart and makes you think, well, that's a winner for me. This book explores women's relationships and just how important they are while also validating that we, as women, are so powerful...yet we have not fully tapped into just how powerful we are. Loved this.
Patty
I really WANTED to like this book. I am either too young or not girl-power-y enough for it. "OMG! My life is tragic! Let me walk with some middle-aged women for a week and talk about my tragic life and turn into a lesbian! Woot!" ... eh. Not for me.
Audrey
Sorry I am abandoning this book. After reading the horrible early life experiences, that ruined the lives, of two of the women, I couldn't take anymore. Life if tough for everyone. Difference is how you grow from the experience.
Patty
The book is well-written and gets its point across. It makes the reader think about her own life and different turning points. I very much enjoyed all the different stories and perspectives. This book has a lot to say about reflecting on life and living each day to its fullest/being happy. While I enjoyed the stories and the overall message, the only reason I did not give the novel more stars is because I feel like it was written for an audience closer to their 50s and 60s than 30s. I did not re ...more
Joyce
Eight women from all different walks of life with all different problems get together every Thursday. When one of them finds she is pregnant with another man's baby, she breaks down. The women band together and decide right then and there to take a break and escape their real and daily life. They go on a walk with no particular destination, talking and confiding with each other. The news media catches wind of their walk and soon they are gathering crowds of cheering people, giving them food, cle ...more
Alice
This was the book club read for the month of April, and I just came from our great discussion. The book is about eight women who meet once a week in friendship. At the beginning of the book they are at Susan's when she reveals a distressing secret to them and proceeds to accidentally drop a delicate wine glass which shatters to pieces. They all decide at that point to go for a walk, and their walk becomes a pilgrimmage of healing for all of them. And not only them, but for women who learn about ...more
Melissa
Okay.

I really, REALLY, _REALLY_ liked the premise of this book. I love that these eight friends just spontaneously decided to chuck it all and go for a walk. And I love that the walk was a week long, and that they liberated themselves from their daily lives and gloom and doom and sameness and routine. I truly love this idea - as (is mentioned many times in the book) who amoung us wouldn't want to do that ?

But I really, REALLY, _REALLY_ found the characters quite annoying. I found them unbeliev
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Nel
Premise is unbelievable ... 8 women spontaneously agree to vacate their lives for an undetermined amount of time to take a walk to an undetermined place ... really? I just don't buy it ... first of all, getting 8 women to agree on anything, even after much discussion, is nearly impossible ... secondly, get over it! Experiences, good & bad, help define you, but how you deal with those experiences also define you & maybe even more so!

I also found the book to be, maybe not poorly written, b
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Samantha
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Landrea
I thought the characters were ridiculous and one-dimensional, despite the author's attempts to make them seem profound and wise. The whole premise seems to come out of nowhere, and it was hard to believe that a local event such as this would be such big news after one day. For a while, I could suspend judgment and sort of enjoyed the book, but by the end, I could hardly stand it and only finished it because it was for my book club.

For a much better book with a similar vein plot, I recommend "Th
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Dana
All of a sudden eight women in rural Wisconsin decide to go walking. It is a journey of the heart and touches women from everywhere. Each of the women walking is of a different age and from a different background. There are women who have lost children, women who have been raped, women with mental diseases and women lost from their families and their own dreams. They are walking and finding themselves. As they walk the whole of 'women hood' gets behind them and is empowered. Further this empower ...more
Cathy Lipscomb
I have a hate-like relationship with this book. Irritated the snot out of me: too much female bonding for my taste, and I don't know any women who talk this much about the details of their sex lives. However, I did appreciate being reminded that it is possible to find magic in everyday life, the meaningful in the mundane, when we take time to celebrate, or at least appreciate, the beauty of a moment.
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Kris started writing the moment she could hold a pencil. She grew up in Wisconsin, graduted from the University of Wisconsin with a journalism degree and hit the ground running. Her father calls her "the tornado". She worked as a newspaper reporter, bureau chief, nationally syndicated columnist, magazine writer, university lecturer, bartender, waitress, worm harvester, window washer....to name a f ...more
More about Kris Radish...
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