Sep 13, 2021
Snowflake, included in Shondaland's 5 Best Books of September, is published today by HarperCollins US
Snowflake is an Amazon US spotlight pick for the month of September as featured debut and is also one of Bustle's Most Anticipated Books of the Month
“But it’s Nealon’s razor-sharp focus on the shame surrounding mental health issues, sexual promiscuity and substance abuse in Irish culture — and her female characters’ determination to not only face but conquer their shortcomings — that makes an indelible mark.”
The Washington Post
Described as an exquisitely talented young Irish writer, Louise Nealon makes her literary debut in the US with this powerful and haunting novel—a tale of love and family, depression and joy, and coming of age in the twenty-first century.
Eighteen-year-old Debbie was raised on her family’s rural dairy farm, forty minutes and a world away from Dublin. She lives with her mother, Maeve, a skittish woman who takes to her bed for days on end, claims not to know who Debbie’s father is, and believes her dreams are prophecies. Rounding out their small family is Maeve’s brother Billy, who lives in a caravan behind their house, drinks too much, and likes to impersonate famous dead writers online. Though they may have their quirks, the Whites’ fierce love for one another is never in doubt.
But Debbie’s life is changing. Earning a place at Trinity College Dublin, she commutes to her classes a few days a week. Outside the sheltered bubble of her childhood for the first time, Debbie finds herself both overwhelmed and disappointed by her fellow students and the pace and anonymity of city life. While the familiarity of the farm offers comfort, Debbie still finds herself pulling away from it. Yet just as she begins to ponder the possibilities the future holds, a resurgence of strange dreams raises her fears that she may share Maeve’s fate. Then a tragic accident upends the family’s equilibrium, and Debbie discovers her next steps may no longer be hers to choose.
Gorgeous and beautifully wrought, Snowflake is an affecting coming-of-age story about a young woman learning to navigate a world that constantly challenges her sense of self.
Praise for Snowflake
“In an entirely unique, dark, and hilariously human novel, Nealon manages to weave the pressure of youth with the hopeful reality of unconditional love.”
Shondaland, The 5 Best Books for September 2021
“A fresh and often humorous debut. . . . this tale of two worlds vibrates on an otherworldly frequency.”
“Featuring a cast of intriguingly damaged characters, Snowflake has the power to make you gasp at its revelations and its sheer poetry, which often unfolds with the languid pace of a lucid dream…impressively accomplished and searingly funny, sad book”
“The idea that everyone is suffering something, even unseen, is not a new one, but it is refreshingly presented by this cast of wonky, wonderful, traumatized characters in a chaotic, beautiful, flawed world… twisty-turning, multifaceted, smart, funny even when it is at its most serious. Nealon's debut shows an expert eye for detail and pitch, and an appreciation for the absurd, the profound and the ridiculous--especially when they converge.”
“Packed with emotion, terrific dialogue, raw and real characters, and spiritual elements…A genuine, wise, and promising debut.”
“Louise Nealon’s Snowflake is one of the most heartwarming, honest and brilliant coming-of-age novels you will read this year…This novel is a true gift…Reading it is to lose yourself in reveries about the imperfections of life, the people we love and care for, self-doubt and the pursuit of joy.”
BookPage, starred review
“a gem of a writer with a promising career ahead of her”
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