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Snow Angels: A Novel by Stewart O'Nan

Snow Angels: A Novel (original 1994; edition 2008)

by Stewart O'Nan

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322None34,833 (3.58)24
Title:Snow Angels: A Novel
Authors:Stewart O'Nan
Info:Picador (2008), Edition: 2nd, Paperback, 336 pages
Collections:Your library, Fiction, Read
Tags:Fiction, murder, divorce, Pennsylvania, 1970's, reconcile, winter, Christmas

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Snow Angels by Stewart O'Nan (1994)



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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Very sad and depressing book . Characters and setting are very believable . You know how this book will end from the beginning. Time and place. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 27, 2013 |
I really liked this book. It's the story of a murder told by a adolescent who knew the victim from his childhood. A coming of age story (separating parents, first love) mixed together with a bit of mystery. Touching.
  verenka | Jun 13, 2010 |
My first impression of this book was that it was meant for 6th graders. The font size used was huge and made it appear as if it had 10 words per page.

Once I started reading it, I realized I wasn’t too far off. While the subject matter is too much of a downer for a nine year old, the way the story was written would have made them feel right at home. The sentences were choppy and had no weight to them.

There were so many missed opportunities that could have made this book a knockout, but were simply washed away. The deaths of several characters were described in at most 2 simply written paragraphs. I was left with a feeling of wanting more (or really SOMETHING) and getting handed simply a statement.

You don’t get a sense of love or hatred for any of the characters. While a lot of situations were sad, they were just that. Sad. Then you moved on. You didn’t relate to the characters just the situation, which when it comes to reading a 300 page book, would help.

I was disappointed by this book as it was recommended by someone who reads a massive amount of books. This book will definitely be sold at the next yard sale. No reason to keep it. ( )
  TheBookJournal | Nov 25, 2009 |
Spoiler Alert. I was disappointed. I guess I often am. At least he didn't kill the dog. I was worried he might. It was hard to care about the characters. I know, they are human and flawed but I didn't find much to hold on to.
  franoscar | Sep 18, 2009 |
I first discovered Stewart O'Nan through his non-fiction when I read The Circus Fire: A True Story. It was a very good book and ever since then I thought I should read his fiction. I am glad I did because it is also very good, especially Snow Angels which is impressive for a first novel. Growing up in a small town myself and playing in the high school band I could relate in part to the story of Arthur Parkinson. While I have not experienced the tragedy and difficult home life he relates in his story and that of his neighbor Annie Marchand, the author brings them alive in his vivid portrayal of their lives and the lives of their family and friends.
The story links two families, almost indirectly, by a tragedy that affects them in enormously painful ways, it is a specific example of a universal theme. Set in a rural community in Pennsylvania in mid-1970, the story builds around the lives of the two main characters, Arthur Parkinson and Annie Marchand. Arthur, who narrates the chapters about his part in this heartbreaking story, is a 14-year-old high school student. He is at that age when he is too old to be a boy but still too young to drive, who is dealing with his family’s slowly decaying break-up. At the same time, the narrator who gives us the picture of her dismal, failing marriage and careless lifestyle. She is a woman unknowingly spiraling into deeper danger as her estranged husband loses his grip. After attempting suicide he becomes zealously religious and tries to win back his wife and young daughter. The two characters live in the same town and have some tenuous connections: Marchand was Parkinson's beloved babysitter for a time; Parkinson's father worked briefly with Marchand's husband.
One of the many ways in which O'Nan succeeds in his narrative lies in his depiction of the casual acquaintance of small-town inhabitants who rub up against each other almost daily without ever achieving a deeper connection. Marchand's story is more direct than Arthur's as it is told in the present tense, and the fairly lengthy alternating passages play off each other in a stop-and- start rhythm. While these characters are not terribly self-aware, O'Nan never condescends to them or makes their troubles seem inconsequential, even at comical moments like Parkinson's first stabs at romance with an eerie twin who shares his bus stop or his visits to a therapist. The unnatural seems natural and the uncommon as common as it can be through O'Nan's elegant yet simple prose which leads the reader through the events that shaped these lives. I recommend this novel and author (and the film version as well). ( )
1 vote jwhenderson | Sep 15, 2009 |
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For my mother and father and John
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I was in the band the fall my father left, in the second row of trombones, in the middle because I was a freshman.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0312427697, Paperback)

Now a major motion picture from Warner Independent starring Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale

Arthur Parkinson is fourteen during the dreary winter of 1974. Enduring the pain of his parents' divorce, his world is shattered when his beloved former babysitter, Annie, falls victim to a tragic series of events. The interlinking stories of Arthur's unraveling family, and of Annie's fate, form the backdrop of this intimate tale about the price of love and belonging, told in a spare, translucent, and unexpectedly tender voice.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:39 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A small-town tragedy with strong characterization. A grown man recounts two interwoven events which occurred when he was a boy, the break up of his family and the murder of his baby sitter. By the author of In the Walled City.

(summary from another edition)

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