Friday, April 6, 2012

Snow falling on cedars by David Guterson

My copy of this book was published in 1995 but I have until now never been able to read it, then I picked it up and click!
It has been one of the most marvellous reading experiences of my life, there isn`t a life theme that isn`t beautifully and deftly covered in this book. Set on San Piedro Island of  Puget Sound in the mid fifties this book takes you on a journey, a voyage of discovery if you like into another time and place with such depth and atmosphere that you can literally feel it pulling you in, the force of the fog alone is remarkable.
In a small community a death occurs and a trial results, it is in the getting from the start to the finish of the trial that the story evolves and the characters and their backstories are unwound and given to the reader. Each story and each chapter is linked seamlessly with the writer using the type of language that is simply a delight to read, the book is tightly written and there are numerous twist and turns and secrets and desires abound. The fallout on the Community from the Second World War and the bombing of Pearl Harbour are perhaps the most gut wrenching parts of the book and the deeply held prejudice that results is thought provoking to say the least, many of those attitudes and views are still held today, it only takes a trigger and they spring back into life, equally the book paints a remarkable portrait of love, compassion, truth and honesty and of the ability of not all to run with the pack. It also speaks of the ability of Justice to be done.
This book sold truck loads of copies, it also won the Pen/Faulkner Awards and The ABA Book of the Year when it was published and it certainly deserved them all, a book that crosses a number of genres, it is available from the Library and from Second Hand Bookshops, its worth hunting for or borrowing a copy.

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