Smells Like Snow
My grandfather is a true scholar, one of the last of a dying breed. He speaks more languages than I can remember, has the most extensive CD collection I have ever seen (all classical and jazz of course), enjoys food more than even a professional critic and has several floor-to-ceiling bookshelves jam packed with books. From dramas to thrillers, fiction to non-fiction, French to Latin... my grandfather's personal library has it all. Thus, whenever he has a literary recommendation to make to me, I always take it seriously and promptly pick up the book he has suggested. They are all excellent, and his latest recommendation proved to be no different.
Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow is a Danish book (translated into English for me of course!) written by David Hoeg. Both a thriller and a love story, this novel proved to be a literary powerhouse that packed quite the punch. With his unique and captivating tone, Hoeg weaves a story through the ice and snow of the Northern Hemisphere that is like fresh powder on a crisp winter morning - pristine, pure and soft yet one step forces the entire mound to cave in on itself. Nothing in this book is quite what it may seem, which is precisely what makes Miss Smilla's story so mesmerizing.
Miss Smilla, as the title suggests, has an amazing sense for snow and ice. She knows and detects things about these water-based substances that no one else can see, and, because of this special gift she possesses, Miss Smilla becomes involved in the solving of a mystery that goes deeper than the waters of the North Atlantic.
The book begins with the death of a young boy who lived in Miss Smilla's apartment complex. The boy, whose mother is an unstable person and alcoholic, befriends the solitary Miss Smilla, and a bond develops between the two. Thus, when the boy suddenly perishes by falling to his death from the top of their apartment building, Miss Smilla takes it upon herself to investigate his death, or murder, further. In her journey to reveal the truth, she grows closer with a handsome mechanic who lives in her building and also knew the boy very well. The two are brought together by the investigation, but soon their relationship develops from a "business" partnership to into a partnership of romance.
But, as I said earlier, things are not always as they seem in this book. Miss Smilla's investigation evolves into a mystery so vast, she must travel through the great ices of Greenland to solve it.
Miss Smilla's Feeling For Snow was a surprise in and of itself; not only was the story full of twists and turns, but I was also taken aback by the sadness I felt upon finishing this book, not because it was bad, but, rather, because I had reached the end. This is truly a book you will not want to put down, and I can not think of a better time to read it than on a chilly winter's night, bundled up inside in your pj's with a nice cup of tea.