Jane's Reviews > First Snow, Last Light
First Snow, Last Light
Nov 27, 2017
The strange, almost hillbilly-esque Vatcher family dominates this, the third of Johnston's interconnected volumes set in St. John's, Newfoundland. At age 9 Ned Vatcher arrives home to find his house cold and empty, his parents mysteriously gone. A Jesuit priest named Duggan steps in to stay with Ned for a few weeks while there's still hope that his parents will return. Sheilagh Fielding, last seen in The Custodian of Paradise, is there too. She was friends with Ned's parents, with his father at least. Ned ends up living with his bizarre grandparents - grandmother Nan Finn is the living definition of a shrew, while dumbstruck grandfather Reg scribbles confessions for the local priest and lies almost comatose; the apparent reason for this being the death of his best-loved son, swept away and drowned by a rogue wave while fishing in peaceful waters. Fortunately, Father Duggan is able to help Ned escape to college in Boston, and in time Ned becomes a wealthy businessman, constantly obsessed by and devoted to discovering his parent's fate. Meanwhile, we learn more about the strange life and loves of Sheilagh Fielding. A good read!
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