Janice is destitute, cold and frightened, a mere shell of the vibrant yet distant mother Julia remembers. Janice’s desperate need weighs on Julia’s conscience but her embittered soul prevails until Grandma insists Janice can stay. Julia’s desire for retribution for the pain Janice caused her wars with her need to be loved by the woman who bore her. When Janice reveals a secret, Julia’s fledgling hope is shattered.
With sensitivity and unerring perception,Nicole Baart pens a tale of three women struggling to survive the emotional upheaval their reunion imparts. Julia’s dramatic change in circumstances which took place towards the end of After the Leaves Fall, and the subsequent impact on Julia’s emotions and personality are captured perfectly in Summer Snow. Julia’s first person voice has altered to reflect her new responsibilities and rings with authenticity. Janice’s brokenness and the consequences of her poor choices are reflected with equal depth and poignancy.
The heavy subject matter is tempered by lighter moments with Julia’s work colleagues and the joy of an emerging friendship. Grandma’s example of faith and sacrificial love is a tribute to many a prayerful grandparent. The unsurpassed beauty ofNicole’s writing creates an ethereal reading experience, culminating for me, in the evocative and moving scene which provides the title for this story. Despite the deep and painful emotions exposed in this story, it is ultimately one of hope, joy and love that will resonate with me for a long time to come.