Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book #7: Snow Falling on Cedars

When one reads book reviews, words such as “compelling”, “truly remarkable”, “heartstopping” and “flawless” can often be a dime a dozen. I have to admit, that despite my love of such reading material, I don’t follow any reviewers, nor do I seek out recommendations. Rather my books are chosen off the shelf for the colour of their spine, the look and feel of them, the author’s name or – dare I say it – the picture on the front cover. Rarely do I buy a new book – and those that I do, tend to be Lonely Planet Guidebooks!

I’d picked up “Snow Falling on Cedars” in a thrift store in Canada. My first thrift store that I had ever stepped into – Canada style that is. I’d walked past the sign that told me it was “Seniors 20% off day”, past the racks of winter coats, the shelves of 2nd hand shoes, and the cabinets laden with china, cake stands and dishracks. The bookshelves were at the back of this store and it was to be my first Canadian book purchase...ever!

For some reason “Snow Falling on Cedars” caught my attention. Perhaps it was the quality of the paperback, still shiny and new without dog-earred corners, or pages that smelt like the inside of your nana’s handbag. The description on the back located the story near Seattle, across the water from my new home on Vancouver Island. That alone, cemented it as my purchase of the day, and book number seven for the year.

That was last week – I’ve now reached the end of a “compelling”, “truly remarkable”, “heartstopping” and “flawlessly written” book. A book that contains a number of stories within its pages, intertwined and so cleverly written by author David Guterson. “Snow Falling on Cedars”, a murder-mystery, is set in the courtroom, in a cedar forest, and in the memories of its characters. It involves a local fisherman, a Japanese-American, and a harmonious community that harbours resentment as thick as the fog that surrounds the island during this week in 1954. It’s a story of love, honour, and prejudice; childhood dreams, family feuds, and war. Gently written, it carries the reader in its arms right through to the very last page.

Now how’s that for a review!


  1. This was one of those books that I meant to read years ago! It came out quite some time ago, yes? Thank you for reminding me it is worth reading!

  2. Woo hoo The Bookgatherer!!! This is absolutely wonderful! Go you! You are fabulous! I will be following this blog for sure. Now I must go find 'Snow Falling on cedars' after a review like that! I remember wanting to go to the movie (but never did) just because of the lovely name. Editor Glen would have a field day with my exclamation marks but I just had to!!!

  3. Just been catching up on past posts. You wonderfully sneaky thing! You have been doing this for ages ..and every post a gem.

  4. Just wanted to stop by and say well done. I come to you via Joan's list of blogs she follows, and, my, I am so glad I did.

    This is one of my all time favorite reads. I read it years ago, when it first came out, and will admit that title and cover drew me to it at first. The story kept me nestled in its pages, however, and has stayed with me ever since. We later read it in our book discussion group, to a great discussion, I might add.