Book Review: In the Silence of the Snow by Jessica Blair

French-born Marie Gabin forms a friendship with Veronica Attwood in their final two years at school, but this is tested when Marie is forced to disclose a secret to her friend.

The First World War takes its toll when Marie loses the man she loves. Veronica's husband suffers injuries which eventually leave her a widow, but she finds consolation in her love for the land. Returning to France, Marie marries her childhood sweetheart, but once again life brings involvement in war for the two friends.

Loving their Yorkshire land, Veronica and her daughters enlist in the Land Army. When a bomber squadron arrives on a newly constructed airfield on part of the estate, relationships are formed. Veronica's daughter Elise joins the RAF and is recruited into the SOE. But secrets will out. On a mission to France, Elise faces dangers she did not expect as she searches for Marie and the truth - a truth that will have an outcome she never envisaged.


This promised to be a great family saga. With a synopsis mentioning a Yorkshire setting, two World Wars and the Land Army, it was irresistible and I was prepared to be swept away. Unfortunately, this didn't happen and I finished the book feeling badly let down.

While the plot line was good, it was predictable in places. This wasn't the cause of my disappointment as much as the lack of evocative description to draw me into the different time periods and round out the characters.

None of the characters appealed to me. Their thoughts and actions were presented in a manner that didn't allow attachments to be formed. I wasn't involved in their lives and I so wanted to be; to feel their sorrow and grief, their happiness and their love for the land. My emotions weren't engaged at all and this made what I thought would be an exceptional read dull and lifeless.

I didn't dislike this book enough not to finish it, but believe it could have been so much better had pivotal events in the plot (some mentioned in the synopsis) been developed further and not rushed through, and had there been more evocative and emotive description.

As In the Silence of the Snow is the first I've read by Jessica Blair, I'm hoping that not all her books are written in the same style. Perhaps another book would have been a better introduction to this author. So to be fair, I will give Jessica Blair another try.

No comments:

Post a Comment