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October 7, 2022

The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman ~ a Review

by Donna Huber


Sonny Dunes, aka Amber Rose Murphy, is a 50-year-old meteorologist at a Palm Springs, California television station. When the demographic ratings come in and they tank in the key demographic of 18 - 49 year olds, Sonny finds herself replaced by a sexy AI meteorologist. After drowning her sorrows in a few too many drinks she goes on a drunken rampage at her station - on air! Nearly unemployable she is offered a job at her hometown TV station by a college "friend". Now trying to redeem her career while living at home with her mother, will Sonny discover you really can go home again?

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of winter women's fiction novel The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman
October 2021; Graydon House; 978-1525899812
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); women's fiction

I know that fall has just begun but this year's Christmas and wintery novels are already hitting the shelves. I had one winter book that I really wanted to read last year but didn't get to, so before the whirlwind of new releases really gets going I picked up The Secret of Snow. I've read and loved Viola Shipman's summer books but this was the first winter book I've read from this author.

I call it a winter novel because, though Christmas and New Year's is mentioned, it isn't about the holidays but about the season. Sonny has left the always sunny desert for the snowy coldness of Michigan.

She fled Michigan as soon as she could because she was running away from her past - a past that held sorrow, grief, and more than a little regret. Now she is forced back home, as she has no other employment options, and must confront those ghosts. She reinvited herself when she left, but now she may just find her true self.

In addition to this not being a holiday story, it is also not a romance. Sure there is a guy but it is all part of Sonny discovering herself as she hasn't dated much and has never married. I liked that she was independent and still single at 50 and I would have been okay if she hadn't met a guy (it's the closest I've come recently - maybe ever -  to a female protagonist that is similar to me). It is really a minor plot thread that I mostly didn't even notice it.

I really liked the character of Sonny. I really identified with her. I cringed with her at some of the stunts she is made to do and really felt bad for her when it looked like someone might be sabotaging her. Her mother is a great character too. I loved the story about how the New Year's appetizers tradition came about. But she is also sweet and wise.

So if you are looking for a great winter read that isn't a holiday romance and you missed this book last year, make sure to put it at the top of your winter reading list now.

P.S. if you are wanting a holiday romance there is a bonus novella at the end of the book. Christmas in Tinsel Tree Village is a heartwarming and sweet holiday story.

Buy The Secret of Snow at Amazon


Donna Huber is an avid reader and natural encourager. She is the founder of Girl Who Reads and the author of how-to marketing book Secrets to a Successful Blog Tour



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