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Book Review: Invisible Snow by Quinn Barrett

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Kate Delacroix has everything you could dream of. She lives in a beautiful mansion, has three wonderful children and enough money to never be in need again. Although her life seems idyllic from the inside, her reality resembles more that of a nightmare.
Kate’s husband is an egocentric, spoilt man who treats his wife and kids as if they were his property. After 19 years of marriage, things are about to change when Kate discovers divorce papers in her husband’s secret room.

Invisible Snow is Quinn Barrett’s first novel and a pretty good one at that. Not everyone is able to write a novel, but Ms Barrett has shown to be very capable and I hope to see another novel signed by her name in the future.

Nothing from the setting of the book to the characters let me think I was in for a great ride. Novels focusing on unhappy marriages or relationships are not exactly rare, but what is rare is to find one that is so well written and has such insight into the life of the characters. Ms Barrett knows each and every one of her characters to a T and none of them feel incomplete. This insight comes from the abundance of details in the writing, but also from the very numerous flashbacks present in the book. The author does not focus entirely on Kate and allows the reader to follow the actions of the other characters, permitting the audience to really grasp the situation and already make guesses as to what is about to happen next.

One reproach I do have to make is that the novel has a slow start. Quinn Barrett’s writing is abundant in detail, making the beginning a bit tedious. The beginning of a novel is always a critical point, it either makes or breaks a book. How many times have I not abandoned a book because of a slow start? Too many, probably. A good rhythm is needed to keep the reader flipping the pages, and I always feel that too many details from the start can be detrimental to the pace of the story. It did take me a little bit of effort to pass those first few chapters, but once you are into the primary action, that is it! Putting the book down was impossible. The story was so gripping, and the attachment one has for the lead character was so great, stopping my reading felt like torture. The author has a great mind, and the storyline is incredibly rich, with a profusion of diverse characters; all of this escalating towards a truly terrific ending.

If you do find, as I did, that the beginning is just a bit dull, my advice to you is this: persevere! I promise, it gets a whole lot better.

Because of the intrigue and the main characters, anyone in a bad relationship or having a difficult time can relate easily to the feelings Kate experiences throughout the book. She is described to the reader in such a human way, attachment and sympathy are easily felt towards her. But she is also annoying and irritating at times; this is all normal and goes to show how richly depicted she is.

Her husband, in contrast, only triggers disgust and antipathy. Quinn Barrett’s writing is so skilful, she makes her audience go through a wide range of emotions as they read. You most certainly will not stay stoic whilst reading this novel, and there are some good chances you will become very engaged with the story; maybe even to the point of finishing it in a day!

For a first novel, Invisible Snow, is a success. A perfect book for the summer; agreeable to read, but not overly serious or philosophical. Fantastic to get your mind off of things and indulge in some good writing.

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