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Snowflake

Snowflake

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Knowledge is power and once you realise happiness is an inside job you could be sweeping the streets and be the happiest person in the world. Our society has a massive thing about success and failure that is really unhealthy. Irish author Louise Nealon became a literary sensation last year when her debut novel, Snowflake, was sold for a six-figure sum. Shortly afterwards, film and TV rights were snapped up by Element Pictures, the same Irish production company behind the seven-times Bafta-nominated adaptation of Sally Rooney’s Normal People. But Nealon’s trajectory has not been as smooth as that paragraph might suggest. She’s talking over Zoom, from her “mammy’s good room” in her family home, a dairy farm in Kildare where she grew up. Even I wasn’t this much of a dope. The ‘exceptionally smart’ Debbie also doesn’t realise she has to register for her course online and has to ask directions to Trinity. From Grafton Street. Um, okay.

This is one of two books I read in a row featuring Greek mythology. Here Debbie’s uncle Billy shares with her his love of star gazing. Their relationship is a special one and I very much liked the way Nealon reveals more (later) about Billy and his past. This is really very mean. We are not given any context for her being so rude, especially when she states that she was the go-to person for ‘the shift’ all through school. She employed no entry requirements before, so this random dude who knows her by reputation can’t really be blamed for asking. Also ONE PARAGRAPH LATER: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 . . . makes an indelible mark." — Washington Post Nealon’s debut novel, Snowflake, tells the story of Debbie, a young girl living on her family’s dairy farm with her mentally ill mother, Maeve, and her uncle Billy, who lives in a caravan on the farm and has a problematic relationship with alcohol. Meanwhile, Debbie is struggling to negotiate the alienating transition from school to university, from farm to big city, from childhood to adulthood, which is something Nealon can relate to. She was unprepared for the experience of going to college and all the change it entailed. It's a long time since I've loved a novel as much as Snowflake. The prose shines with observations about life love family mental health, milking the cows and what it means to be coming of age in the times we live in—I felt I had discovered a diamond—a real treasure!" — Christy Lefteri, author of The Beekeeper of Aleppo Debbie’s university world seems true to life. Nealon accurately captures the pre-night out ‘jeans or dress, flats or heels’ conversations perfectly. The subtleties in the hypocrisies of the university characters are both poignant and funny. One such moment is Debbie’s vegan best friend attempting to navigate her way around the dairy farm, while un-ironically owning a t-shirt that says ‘My oat milk frees all the cows from the yard’. Snowflake has some excellent, witty lines.

Louise Harland narrated the book and there could not have been a better person. She epitomises Debbie and really brings her character and little quirks to life.SO GROSS. There’s also two – TWO! – scenes describing Debbie raw-shaving her pubes. Why did I need to read this once, let alone twice?! She has the internet, she has a MACBOOK (despite her supposed poverty). GOOGLE. IT.

Attempts by her Dubliner classmates to romanticise her upbringing are presented as the patronising comments they are, such as when Xanthe – her best friend – refers to Debbie not knowing who her father is as "like a culchie version of Mamma Mia". The novel’s central character, Debbie White, is an 18-year-old, highly intelligent, country girl whose prowess at English Literature has earned her a coveted place at Trinity College. I have been driven to tell this story for a decade. It is the reason I became a writer. There is a buffer of silence around mental illness that psychiatry has failed to penetrate. When I was unwell, psychiatry did not raise me out of the depths of despair, but reading literature did.” S nowflake is raw, sharp-sighted, affirming, and also very very funny. Louise Nealon's prose shimmers as do her irregular and damaged characters. Stunning." — Una Mannion, author of A Crooked Tree If I haven’t earned the title of depression, then neither has she. Because she is a lot less miserable than I am. Or she certainly ought to be.”Snowflake, the debut novel of 27 year old Irish author Louise Nealon, is clearly targeted at the millennial generation. The dual meaning of the title instantly calls to mind the generational insult towards ‘overly sensitive’ millennials. Can a young woman be innocent yet outrageous, longing to succeed at university yet close to failing, deeply embarrassed by her manic depressive mother yet devoted? Yes, yes, yes. Louise Nealon’s beguiling narrator Debbie is all these things, and much more. Snowflake is a wonderfully inventive, deeply felt novel full of the best kinds of surprises." — Margot Livesey A vivid tale of courage and discovery, of engaging with a world that contains so many interpersonal traps, so many sources of shame, guilt, and self-deception. . . . The jokey give-and-take of the craic—and there is plenty of it—lightens the book's serious subject matter. . . . Nealon keeps us laughing to soften the rawness. And as all is filtered through Debbie's sharp consciousness, we come to appreciate the protagonist's fierce curiosity about how to guide oneself to live in the world.” — Minneapolis Star-Tribune



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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