Discover more from A Book For Ants: Bite-Sized Reviews of Snack-Sized Books
COLD ENOUGH FOR SNOW by Jessica Au
An unnamed narrator meets her mother in Japan for a holiday. From the moment they see each other at the airport, a pall of uncertainty descends upon them. They are hesitant, almost to the point of clumsiness, in trying to express whatever love lies beneath. The years have clearly eroded their bond. What follows is a delicate dance of reconnection. Every moment is refracted through a prism of memory and hope, often leading to gorgeously recounted digressions and meditations; on an inspiring lecturer, an uncle’s lost love, a creepy diner at the restaurant where the narrator once worked.
Cold Enough For Snow is a book about time, family, love and the unreliability of treasured memories. Ultimately, nothing much happens - mother and daughter are quite possibly none the better by the end - but it does so with such sensitivity and grace that it pained me to leave these ordinary, beautiful women behind.
And hell yes it gave me smug satisfaction to see the inaugural Novel Prize go to an Aussie book that doesn’t quite hit a hundred pages. Viva la Novella! So to speak…
Cold Enough For Snow by Jessica Au
Fitzcarraldo/New Directions/Giramondo, 2022