Page Count: 353 pages
“He wondered how a love like that drowned. Or worse, how it died.”
Last night I had the pleasure of sitting down and finishing this book. Girl in Snow is Danya Kukafka’s debut novel, though reading it you would hardly guess. The elegant prose falls from the book, igniting an intrigue that has you entranced from the first page.
Girl In Snow follows the aftermath of the death of a beloved high school girl named Lucinda Hayes. The small suburb hasn’t been shocked by a crime of this nature in a long time and as is the case when tragedy strikes, the dark secrets that lie under the surface of the sleepy suburb are unwound in this tale.
I have mentioned before that my love of a book is highly reliant on the characters themselves and this book is an excellent example of truly endearing characters. The story is told from the perspectives of our three main characters, Cameron, Jade, and Russ, who together are a collection of misfit characters perfectly woven together by Kukafka.
“He’d like to imagine he was one of Michelangelo’s figures, frozen on paper, etched in one position for all eternity”
Cameron was definitely the character I found most endearing and really looked forward to reading about his outlook on the world around him and the people within that world. A classic wallflower, Cameron has been labeled a freak most of his life and as is the case with many teenagers, he struggles not to believe it. The character certainly has a few interesting hobbies (“The game of statue nights” being one) that have you questioning what kind of person he really is, and whether the reader should be sympathetic towards him.
I think many people can empathise with his thought that “He found people fascinating when they thought no one was watching”, however, in his case the question becomes is how much can you innocently watch someone before it becomes something more sinister.
“Faking shock is easier than faking sadness”
Another character that’s very easy to like is Jade. Exceedingly observant, Jade and Cameron share the familiar trait of people thinking they veer off the scope of normal and because of this there is a clear kinship between the characters. Jade is both incredibly witty and intelligent, piecing together links between characters that often left me chanting ‘omg omg’ in my head as the connections unraveled. Her wit also allows for lovely breaks in the prose in which she tells the reader all the things she wishes she could say “What you want to say but can’t without being a dick – A screenplay by Jade Dixon-Burns”.
“It was paralyzing and perfect, crippling in its singularity. Here is what I have been alive for all this time, Russ thought. This touch”
Personally, I found Russ the hardest to empathise with throughout the book, though this is likely Kukafka’s intent, A cop not quite sure of his place in the world from his marriage to his job. He is seemly lost in the grand scheme of things. About halfway through the book when Russ delved more into his friendship with Lee was where I saw more life in the character and grew more interested in his telling of the story.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I think anyone would with its intricate twists and wholely endearing characters. The stand out being Danya’s delicate and detailed prose. I truly hope this debut novel is followed by another as I would love to read more by this brilliant author.
I recommend it for any fans of Crime, mystery or thriller novels, and for people that want a book they cant put down!
“Cameron wanted to tell Mr. O about loss – the hissing sound it made, like air drained from a tire, how that sound could continue forever if you let it – but maybe Mr. O already knew.”