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Girl in Snow Hardcover – 11 January 2018
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Who are you when no one is watching?
When beloved high school student Lucinda Hayes is found murdered, no one in her sleepy Colorado suburb is untouched – not the boy who loved her too much; not the girl who wanted her perfect life; not the police officer assigned to investigate. In the aftermath of the tragedy, these three indelible characters – Cameron, Jade, and Russ – must each confront their darkest secrets in an effort to find solace, the truth, or both.
In crystalline prose, Danya Kukafka explores the razor-sharp line between love and obsession, between watching and seeing, between reality and memory. Intoxicating and emotionally intense, Girl in Snow is a gripping debut novel that will linger long after the final page is turned.
Stark, utterly compulsive with a compelling, unique writing style. This thriller blew me away -- Kate Hamer, author of The Girl in the Red Coat
A sensational debut - great characters, mysteries within mysteries, and page-turning pace. Highly recommended -- Lee Child, bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series
A dark and elegant thriller set in small-town America ― Mail on Sunday
An early contender for next year's Gone Girl . . . a creepy, psychological dramam set in a snowbound Colorado high school ― GQ
An offbeat murder mystery set in a Colorado suburb in 2005, in which we learn about 15-year-old Lucinda's death via the unreliable viewpoints of her introverted neighbour, schoolmate and sort-of-stalker Cameron, teenage would-be writer Jade, and Russ, a cop only peripherally involved in the case . . . a distinctive prismatic narrative technique and prose that's just as zingy as [Megan] Abbott's, but a little more poetic ― Sunday Times Culture
An exciting debut from a talented new voice. Girl in Snow is a propulsive mystery set in a suburban community marked by unsettling voyeurism. Danya Kukafka patiently reveals layers of her characters’ inner lives – their ugliness and vulnerabilities – in prose that sparkles and wounds. I couldn’t put this one down. -- Brit Bennett, New York Times bestselling author of The Mothers
'Girl in Snow is a haunting, lyrical novel about love, loss, and terror. Reading it felt like entering another world, where things and people – were not as they at first appeared. The world Kukafka so masterfully creates is suspenseful and electrifying; I was willing to follow her wherever she took me.' -- Anton DiSclafani, New York Times bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls and The After Party
There is a frightful truth to Danya Kukafka's characterizations, and the mystery at the heart of Girl in Snow is so elegantly constructed. It's an exceptional, unnerving debut novel. I'm already counting the days until her next one -- Owen King, author of Double Featureand co-author of Sleeping Beauties
A bevy of young female characters have lent girlish titles to crime novels since 2012’s Gone Girl. Some of these books have been memorable, some forgettable. Few have been as noteworthy as first-time novelist Danya Kukafka’s elegiac and involving Girl in Snow . . . [it] is engagingly told, in fragmentary fashion, through short sections that shift in and out of sequence. Ms. Kukafka uses this technique to heighten suspense, and the book springs a number of well-timed surprises . . . the predominant tone is one of abiding sadness, in young and old alike: for people gone away forever, for loves that might have been but weren’t. And then there’s guilt, or the fear of guilt . . . The novel solves its major mystery in plausible fashion. But its endearing characters’ struggles linger in memory after this affecting work is done ― Wall Street Journal
Written with great sensitivity and meticulous introspection ... As I read Girl in Snow, I found myself thinking of Ottessa Moshfegh’s Eileen ... she writes with great precision and her depiction of the socially maladjusted Cameron in particular is one that will stay with me. It’s impressive that someone so young can produce such carefully considered prose ... We’re often too quick to jump on prodigiousness, singing hosannas for a talented young person who’s achieved publication at an early age but neither Kukafka nor her publisher asks for this, which makes it a refreshingly unhyped debut from a writer whose work will likely develop in interesting ways over time -- John Boyne ― Irish Times
Danya Kukafka's bewitching first novel, Girl in Snow, spins a mournful confession around a "Twin Peaks"-like centerpiece, the beautiful girl found dead . . . The truth is revealed through the claustrophobic confessions of three misfits, observations Kukafka gently takes out and holds up to the light as if sifting through a refuse-filled gutter after a rain . . . In Kukafka's capable hands, villainy turns out to be everywhere and nowhere, a DNA that could be found under the fingernails of everybody's hands ― New York Times
Danya Kukafka makes a compelling case for the next Girl on the Train with a fast-paced thriller about a young girl whose body is found on a school playground in the dead of winter, leaving an obsessive loner, a jealous classmate, and a police officer as the prime suspects. It's no surprise then that it garnered an accolade from Paula Hawkins herself ― InStyle
Combining elements of Bill Clegg’s Did You Ever Have a Family with Dennis Lehane’s contemporary classic Mystic River, Danya Kukafka’s debut novel is an intricate, seductive murder mystery, in which a single awful crime exposes conflicts and traumas in an entire community . . . Told largely over the course of a few winter days following Lucinda’s murder, Girl in Snow unfolds through deftly alternating chapters, through the eyes of many different characters . . . each of these lives paints a vivid, compelling canvas . . . Girl in Snow is not just an impressive debut but one of the best literary mysteries to come along in some time ― BookPage
Kukafka attempts to subvert preconceptions, principally of what is expected of the thriller genre, but succeeds more pointedly in destabilizing the biases toward illegal immigration, mental illness, law enforcement, and presentations of sexuality sewn into our country’s fabric . . . Kukafka expertly plays with the idealization of the golden girl . . . In many ways, the book responds to our cultural norms of self-presentation and societal expectation. By weaving these narrative perspectives together, all directed at the image of a dead female body, we gain heightened intimacy and understanding of three unique psychologies and are also forced to reckon with our own preconceived notions of beauty, gender, mental ability, and various manifestations of power. ― Guernica
Riveting . . . stark and striking . . . written with raw immediacy, each character is complex, aching and ashamed, for different reasons . . . [Kukafka's] measured pacing and withholding of information gives her novel an atmosphere of nearly painful suspense . . . a quietly taut thriller concerned with the secrets we keep from our closest loved-ones and even from ourselves . . . keeps hold of the reader long after the final denouement ― Shelf Awareness
This brooding and intense thriller will plunge readers into a dark world they may not want to enter - but they may be unable to tear themselves free . . . gives readers a different look into the idyllic, small-town life, and how not everything is as it appears on the surface ― Booklist
Captivating ― Marie Claire
Author Danya Kukafka, only 25 years old, began writing her thrilling debut while studying at NYU. With a knack for writing oh-so-real teenage characters and underline-worthy prose, she weaves a tale of voyeurism and obsession that's impossible to put down ― W Magazine
A must-read . . . suspenseful and thrilling . . . an unforgettable first novel you won't want to miss ― Book People Blog
Starts with a dead high school student and keeps you glued to your seat right up until the finish. ― Campus Circle
If you loved Paula Hawkins' The Girl on the Train, then you shouldn't miss this thriller ― Southern Living
My love of this book is driven in equal parts by the plot and by Danya Kukafka's melodic prose. The book is technically a thriller – it centres around a murdered teenage girl and the characters suspected to be involved with her death – but in reality, it manages to straddle a range of genres. While I normally tear through thrillers, when reading Girl In Snow I found myself re-reading entire pages, not because the plot is unclear or confusing, but purely for the pleasure of reading Kukafka's prose all over again. The book is written from multiple view points, but each character is equally engaging – a true testament to her ability to write compelling and multifaceted characters. ― The Pool
Perfectly paced and beautifully written. ― Good Housekeeping
- Publisher : Picador (11 January 2018)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1509829938
- ISBN-13 : 978-1509829934
- Reading age : 18 years and up
- Dimensions : 16 x 3.4 x 24.2 cm
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Top reviews from Australia
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Kukafka’s beautiful writing however, had me highlighting phrase after phrase. Sentence after sentence. At the same time I realised I wouldn’t be able to use most in my review as they’re too ‘telling’. They give too much away about our characters and the plot.
The book opens just after Lucinda’s body is found. We’re in the heads of three characters: teenagers Cameron and Jade and police officer Russell Fletcher. And we pop in and out of their interconnected stories throughout the novel.
In reality this book felt (to me) mostly to be about Cameron and Jade. Both are outcasts and highly creative. Cameron is an artist and draws Lucinda repeatedly.
Jade writes screenplays and parts of the unfolding plot are reflected in her creations. It’s through them we learn what she’d like her family and friends to say and do. Reality is quite different.
Kukafka does a great job of keeping us guessing. We’re privy to a information about our characters and things they know about others. At times the circumstances surrounding Lucinda’s murder seem obvious. Other times less so.
This book is about love, loss and grief. It’s about vulnerability. It’s about the disenfranchised and the fact many of us feel unable to be who we really are. And it’s about the bravery of those who do so.
This book came as a huge surprise to me. The plot is complex and intriguing. The characters are impossible not to love and sometimes painfully exposed. And the writing is beautiful. It’s Kukafka’s first novel and I can’t wait for more from this talented writer and storyteller.
Top reviews from other countries
Each page turned not in excitement but in the hope that it may get interesting.
It never happened!