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The Snow Collectors

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  28 ratings  ·  17 reviews
Haunted by the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna cloisters herself in a Northeastern village where the snow never stops. When she discovers the body of a young woman at the edge of the forest, she’s plunged into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding one of the most famous stories of Arctic exploration—the Franklin expedition, which disappeared ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published February 12th 2020 by Dzanc Books
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Amalia Gavea
''I found the dead woman at the edge of my woods on the last day of January. King month. Thirty-one spikes on a crown of icicles.''

A young woman lives in Alaska. Alone, her sole company a dog named Rembrandt. Henna tries to build her life in a wildly beautiful, inhospitable landscape and escape the shadow of a family long gone. But the winter hides its own secrets, Henna finds herself faced with a macabre discovery and a woman from the past invades her world in a haunting story that
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Henna has moved to a Northeastern Village where the snow never stops after the deaths of her parents and twin sister. She lives alone with her dog, Rembrandt, and while out walking one day discovers the body of a young woman. Then she is thrown into a century old mystery involving a letter written about a century old expedition to the Arctic which disappeared on the ice in 1845.

The age-old Gothic mystery involves Sir John Franklin's wife, Lady Jane and her quest to learn about what happened to
The Snow Collectors, the arresting debut by Tina May Hall, is a tremendously interesting yet very uneven book. Hall fuses gothic horror, mystery, and historical fiction into a bizarreyet intriguingblend (made more bizarre by the fact that it's not a historical novel at all - it's set in the present-day, or maybe the near-future). It's almost tongue-in-cheek at times in a way that weirdly reminded me of Northanger Abbey - the narrator comparing herself ironically to a gothic heroine - but the ...more
Nedra Hains
Sep 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Being a twin who has lost her other half, the descriptions of the bond between twins, even across death drew me in. It was a quick read. The plot twists and turns led my mind in the opposite direction of how I imagined it would end.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, edelweissplus
Sometimes I'm hesitant to call a book "original" or "unique" because I don't have that much familiarity with its genre. That's the case for me with The Snow Collectors, but I suspect the adjectives really do apply here. I requested an electronic review copy of this book because the description suggested it would be a mystery with ties to the Franklin Polar Expedition, and I'm an eager reader of historical mysteries with a side interest in polar exploration. The Snow Collectors is that—but not in ...more
Brittany (brittreads)
Feb 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have never wanted to crawl inside a book so badly before. The writing is absolutely beautiful and I’d love nothing more than to live in the wintery village Henna lives in and have the friends she has. The atmosphere is so captivating and the depth of the characters had me completely sucked in.

The historical and scientific elements were a really interesting touch that made me feel like I was learning new things while also reading a work of fiction. Yes, some of it went over my head and
Jan 15, 2020 rated it liked it
This is a weird and refreshing little book that doesn’t follow the normal rules of this kind of fiction. It starts off in a relatively familiar space; our protagonist has a very literary name (Henna) and is doing a very literary job (writing encyclopaedia entries for a publisher on water and ice) after her parents and twin sister Claire died in a very literary way (being lost at sea). The first chapter made me think that The Snow Collectors would be full of the kind of drifty, quasi-magical ...more
gwendalyn _books_
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Gwendalyn G Anderson

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This book was received from the Author, and Publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Opinions and thoughts expressed in this review are completely my own.

By Tina May Hall

A gripping novel of snowy dreamlike, A year
Linda Hill
Jan 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Finding a body in the snow is just the start for Henna.

It took me ages to read The Snow Collectors, despite it being a short book because it is so utterly beautifully written I had to savour every syllable, word and nuance of Tina May Hall’s fabulous writing. It’s almost impossible to describe the quality of the prose. It’s intricate and mystical, with an oxymoronic icy fire that simply thrums off the page. I adored every single moment of reading The Snow Collectors. It felt as if I were being
Feb 02, 2020 rated it liked it
I'd not heard of Tina May Hall before being offered this book by @dzancbooks in exchange for an honest review. I'm thankful for the opportunity to read it! This book was a super quick read. In fact I read the entire thing last night. The chapters are short and hop back and forth between memories of Henna's childhood and the current mystery of her finding a body in the woods. I'll admit that while reading it, I wasnt in love with Henna but the story stayed with me after I turned the final page. ...more
Feb 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Henna lives in Alaska with her dog Rembrandt, and comes across a dead body in the woods. As one does, she embarks on a macabre investigation into the woman’s death. I won’t say more because that could spoil the mystery, wouldn’t it?

I fell instantly for Hall’s wintry prose. There’s a quiet, haunted quality to the writing, so beautifully evocative of its northern, snowbound setting. Other than Henna’s POV, there are interludes from Jane Franklin attempting to discover the fate of her missing
Feb 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A complete review is forthcoming. To start with though, just some initial musings as de-spoilered as I can possibly make them. 1.) This is a mystery gothic novel but it's also a story of relationships, and how one's family history can haunt their present. 2.) Boy does it have me -- ironically -- missing snow, which I did not experience for the first time in my whole life this winter (and am unlikely to given I live in LA now). 3.) Dark family secrets are the best kinds of dark secrets anyone can ...more
Dec 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hope this book gets the attention it rightfully deserves. Anyone who read Tina May Hall’s short story collection, The Physics of Imaginary Objects, knows she’s one of our finest prosaists, but this is on a whole other level. Unconscionably beautiful writing and gripping (while self aware of its own constructed nature) too. Get it when it comes out!
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
Well-written, gothic, with elements of magical realism. But it felt like a good third draft that needed a little bit more editing and a few stronger connections between plot points to actually hold it up.
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
DNF @ 37%
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was impressed by the use of historical facts to create a mystery that kept me fascinated to the end!
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tina May Hall sets up an eerie murder mystery in her debut novel The Snow Collectors. Henna, a writer specializing in hydrology, writes for an encyclopedia. After having lost her parents and twin sister, she ahs moved to the terrifyingly cold northern reaches of New England.

Her simple routine is interrupted by the discovery of a young woman’s body on her property, and so unravels a bizarre, old time story of intrigue and secrets. In the woman’s hand is clutched a small fragment of a letter.
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Tina May Hall's stories have appeared or are forthcoming in 3rd bed, the minnesota review, Quarterly West, Black Warrior Review, Water-Stone Review, Fairy Tale Review, and other journals. Her novella in prose poems, All the Day's Sad Stories, was published by Caketrain Press in the spring of 2009.

She teaches at Hamilton College and lives in the snowy Northeast with her husband and son in a house