Blurb from Goodreads
‘My wish is that you will take the key I have given you, which will give you access to my entire life: my book of solutions, all the stories I have known. Take and do with them as you please. I trust you to fill in the blanks – with your stories, with ours – for you alone have full understanding of my soul’
This is a bravura first novel, brimming with originality and wit. A lost notebook is discovered, its pages filled with an encyclopaedic array of entries about snow. Leafing through each item in turn, it gradually becomes apparent that the selection is not as haphazard as first glances might suggest. Scientific description, historical accounts and fantastical incidents slowly, teasingly unfold to reveal a series of love-stories. At the heart of these is one particular story, a record of one particular relationship, and it becomes clear by the end of the book that the unnamed editor’s work is intended as a love-letter, fastidiously elegant, beautiful and – in places – almost unbearably bleak.
This might be a book that won’t appeal to everyone at first because initially it’s so seemingly disjointed.
But it’s worth sticking with as the pay off is breathtaking.
It’s not a traditional novel; instead it’s fragments of stories, poems, epistolary pieces, quotes and more all compiled to form this encyclopaedia.
The entries can be read in any order the reader likes: I started in alphabetical order but then if any entry suggested I read another straight after it then I skipped ahead to that entry and afterwards resumed reading in alphabetical order (I used two bookmarks to keep abreast of my progression).
The entries all revolve around snow in some way…but really this is a testimony to a singular love story.
Once you keep reading you realise each entry is linked in some manner, that they share a commonality and in fact are an expression of one all encompassing love story .
This is a magical read to just lose yourself in. It’s definitely quirky but also short enough that as a reader you don’t tire of the *quirk*.
A fascinating and moving read
“Consider yourself and the cello.
As you play the music moves out to the listener, and also enters the core of your own being, for somehow you are tuned to the cello.
Well, I am persuaded that this is because you are a chord.
I am a chord.
Our DNA dictates our physicality-made up of billions of little notes-on a basic level.
Add to that our geography, background et cetera, and you have your original score.
Life is the layering of chords, but the underlying one that we are will never change.
This brings us to string theory and love.
Our personal chord resonates with the personal ones of others, and sometimes we encounter another person who is completely harmonious with us. It is a dominant, overwhelming attraction on the DNA level.
However, such a person can appear to be our opposite-and that’s where this ‘opposites attract’ notion comes from-because they have tuned their chord in a different way.
In reality, we are attracted to the person we have chosen not to become, an alternative adjustment to a chord that is nearly the same as our own. The clashing portions of the chords sounding together advance the richness of it.
So when you make love you aren’t expressing emotions or showing affection, you are merging melodies. You are players in the same symphony.”