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Snowflake Reviews

Snowflake by Louise Nealon

Snowflake: 'Wonderful' Roddy Doyle

Louise Nealon

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Manilla
Publisher: Manilla
Publication date: 13 May 2021
ISBN: 9781786580702

Debbie's mum Maeve's grip on reality is increasingly tenuous, and she spends her days recording her dreams, which are more real than her daylight hours. This world is Debbie's normal, but she is about to step into life as a university student in Dublin.

4 stars out of 5
Sarah Moss
17 May 2021

"This college-life narrative has an eye for comedy even when the narrator is enjoying a moment of self-pity"

This isn’t a perfect book; a subplot about prophetic dreams is convenient to the plot but unconvincing, and a thematic emphasis on literal snowflakes doesn’t earn its keep. But Snowflake is much more than the tribute act suggested by its hype. It a sweet, clever coming-of-age novel that finds charity and depth for its older characters as well as the young, and I look forward to seeing what Louise Nealon does next.


4 stars out of 5
Patricia Nicol
16 May 2021

"Louise Nealon’s debut sparks with tender charm and humour"

This may sound like familiar terrain from other recent novels, most obviously Rooney’s Normal People (like Connell there, “culchie” Debbie, unmoored at college, struggles with depression and drink). But Debbie’s fresh, bleakly funny voice marks her out as original. So are her brilliant, brittle family. These are Beckett-like characters — mythologised, haunted, mired in trauma — using craic as deflection. Gothic, magic realist elements veer towards whimsy, even mawkishness, but are also key to this quirky novel’s tender charm. Screen rights have been bought by the team that adapted the hit TV series of Normal People.