I always make time for some reading in my hectic life, even if it’s just half and hour here and there. As we are about to pack up and move house this is one of my last book reviews for a while. I do have a couple more children’s book reviews in the pipe line coming up in the next week though.
I’m glad I left Seas of Snow as one of my last reviews, it has left me with lasting thoughts that I find are rare when reading nowdays.
In 1950s England, six-year-old Gracie Scott lives with her Mam and next door to her best friend Billy; she has never known her Da. When her Uncle Joe moves in, his physical abuse of Gracie’s mother starts almost immediately. But when his attentions wander to Gracie, an even more sinister pattern of behavior begins.
As Gracie grows older she finds solace and liberation in books, poetry, and her enduring friendship with Billy, with whom she escapes into the poetic fantasy worlds they create. But will fantasy be enough to save Gracie? Just how far will Uncle Joe’s psychopathic behavior go?
The story weaves between these events and the visits Billy pays many years later to an old friend, confused and dying in a hospice. It is here that he is forced to revisit the events of the past.
Seas of Snow is a haunting and psychological domestic drama with an unexpected twist and considerable emotional punch.
I’m not quite sure where to start with this one. It’s a book that is still with me, hard to get out of my head. For a debut novel it really is a head turner. Domestic violence is rife in this book so I’m sorry but it’s not for the faint hearted. I think since a became a mum, books like this make difficult reading for me now.
The way Jennings uses poetry in the book gives it that lightness against the dark evil. The subject of abuse is hard to read about, but Jenning’s writes so well. The chilling and disturbing scenes do make you wonder how can someone be born that evil.
The novel flips back and forth between characters and also back and forth between time. Gracie and Billy are wonderful characters which only adds to the cleverly written storyline. It doesn’t end the way I thought it would, but then this book is highly unusual!
It’s a book that you shouldn’t enjoy reading, but I can’t help to say how good it actually is.
Note: Warnings for Domestic Abuse, Sexual Abuse, Physical Abuse and Child Abuse
I have given Seas of Snow by Kerensa Jennings 5 out of 5 stars.
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published May 1st 2017 by Random House UK