The Snow Garden, by Christopher Rice.
To summise, this book is about young people that are going off to university and are at war with themselves (and, seemingly, the world) trying to figure out “who” they are. But it’s never as simple as that. There are cults, arts, sexuality, betrayal, secrets, friendships, relationships, and murder. To name but a few of the issues that run through the core of this book.
Christopher, I love you. And this is why I will overlook the hideous typos that are strewn haphazardly throughout this book. It is probably the only reason I refused to put the book down when I realised there appeared to have been no proofreader, or editor, worth their salt onboard this little adventure.
That aside, I’m glad I didn’t put it down. Once you get past those issues, it’s a pretty incredible plot with various stories that seem to interlock. The same themes of homosexuality, sex, manipulation, and society are presented in this book as with his debut novel (A Density of Souls, which I have reviewed). I just love how he isn’t afraid to throw in ‘taboo’ subjects, he’ll explore, tear apart, and shake the tatters in your face until you realise you just can’t ignore it anymore.
Despite the heavy subject matter, the books are incredibly easy to read. It is clear Christopher has a passion for art, literature, and interests in ‘higher society’, which comes across so well in the book. But they’re interesting to read about, particularly when used as part of his character development.
As with the review of A Density of Souls, I made it clear he does not write like his mother (Anne Rice). He stands alone, and is no worse off for it. He is a bold writer, bringing awareness to subjects like HIV (which is one of the issues he raises in The Snow Garden).
If you can forgive him his errors, I’d definitely recommend reading this book.