ARC Review: Snowflake by Louise Nealon


Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies.

This world is Debbie’s normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve’s eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy’s drinking gets worse. Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety.


Snowflake is a powerful and deeply moving account of a teenager growing up in a small community in Ireland the story delves into her life and her family’s dramas. Debbie is going through an exciting but unsettling time in her life and starting at Trinity College is both nerve-wracking and daunting for her opening a completely new chapter in her life outside of the confines of rural village life and the dairy farm she lives on. This is a raw and very authentic novel with some heavy topics explored, focusing on mental health issues and depression.  It is not all doom and gloom though, there are also some lovely uplifting, heartwarming and humorous scenes too.  The chapters are short and to the point and there is no waffling. The author’s writing style is brilliant and extremely captivating, there is a unique atmosphere created and I really enjoyed the distinctly Irish feel which comes through in the narrative.

I was riveted to Debbie’s life story and completely besotted with her character and her loveable but dysfunctional family and friends.  The characters here are exceptional and the author captured their traits, flaws and personalities to perfection.  In particularly Debbie’s thought processes and feelings are beautifully described, these are issues we can relate to from our own teenage years and her accounts are at times intensely intimate and candid.  Debbie has a wonderful bond with her uncle and is was lovely to see their interactions and banter and I loved the close friendship she forged with Xanthe. 

A heartfelt and emotional read, this is an intense and beautifully written piece of contemporary fiction and I will be reflecting upon it for years to come.  A fantastic debut novel with an amazing cover!  

Publisher:  Manilla Press
Publication Date (UK):  13 May 2021
Format:  Paperback 
Page Count:  304
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Rating:  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thank you to the publisher for the gifted advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I hope you enjoyed this review.  For my current reads, recommendations and anything else book related, please follow me on Instagram , Goodreads or Twitter

Please do not hesitate to comment below if you liked my review or have any comments about this book 😊 

Happy reading!


Twisted in Pages Blog

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