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Smilla's Sense of Snow
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Archive: Other Books > (LISTOPIA) Smilla's Sense of Snow / Peter Høeg - 2.5**

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Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6407 comments Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg
Smilla’s Sense of Snow – Peter Høeg
2.5**

From the book jacket Smilla Qaavigaaq Jaspersen is part Inuit, but she lives in Copenhagen. She is thirty-seven, single, childless, moody, and she refuses to fit in. Smilla’s six-year-old Inuit neighbor, Isaiah, manages only with a stubbornness that matches her own to befriend her. When Isaiah falls off a roof and is killed, Smilla doesn’t believe it’s an accident. She has seen his tracks in the snow, and she knows about snow. She decides to investigate and discovers that even the police don’t want her to get involved.

My reactions
I really wanted to like this. It’s been on my tbr for ages and it fits a genre I usually enjoy: Psychological thriller / mystery with a strong female lead. And Smilla is definitely a strong female heroine. She’s a keen observer, tenacious, self-reliant, and intelligent. She’s also moody and distrustful, keeping herself somewhat closed off from those around her. And perhaps it’s that quality that made the book less appealing to me. I could never get to really know Smilla or care about her.

Høeg does have a way with words, however. His writing is very atmospheric; I could practically feel the cold, smell the briny sea air, or taste the food. A couple of examples:
“His pants have frozen into an armor of ice.”
“Toward the spot where the current has hollowed out the ice so it’s as thin as a membrane, a fetal membrane. Underneath, the sea is dark and salty like blood.”
“With whipped cream so fresh and soft and yellowish white, as if they had a cow standing in back of the bakery.”


And I think this passage perfectly describes Smilla and her philosophy:
“Whining is a virus, a lethal, infectious, epidemic disease.”

There are sections of the book that were mesmerizing, but many sections that just bored me to tears. And then it just ….. ends. With no real resolution. Even after finishing it I’m not sure I understand what happened. On the whole it was a chore to read, and it took me three weeks to finish it.



LINK to my review


Beth I agree with this review 100 percent. It was a chore to finish and although parts if it were interesting, most of it went 'round and 'round.


Susie | 4488 comments I read this book years and years ago and remember loving it, but I can’t remember specifics. I wasn’t as discerning as I am now so perhaps I would rate it differently if I read it again.


message 4: by annapi (last edited May 27, 2018 07:19PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

annapi | 5160 comments I remember that this started out so well, and the suspense built up, but then once she got on that boat it all went downhill. Lots of eye-rolling contrivances, and no real resolution in that lousy ending. Such a disappointment.


Diane Zwang | 485 comments BC I am sorry you disliked this book. I really liked it and gave it 4 stars.

Intelligently written and story telling at its best Peter Hoeg takes us on quite a journey in Smilla's Sense of Snow. We learn on page one that Isaiah, an Inuit boy of 6, is dead after a fall from the roof. Smilla Jaspersen, part Inuit, is skeptical of the conclusion that it was an accident. And so begins the journey of Smilla to find out what really happened. Smilla is a very strong character with many flaws but very engaging. This story is more about the journey and what we learn about Smilla then the outcome. I very much enjoyed the setting of the story, Denmark and Greenland, and learning the cultural differences of both.


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