There is a remarkably beautiful cadence to author Isabelle Rowan’s voice. It wends its way into your heart and prompts emotions to stir and often evokes tears of both joy and sadness. This is not so much angst as it is the travails of a real life lived to its fullest and when that happens, there is bound to be some sadness along the way. However, the steady rhythm of this author’s story is also filled with such hope, such love, and such quiet joy.
Caleb lives alone on his mountain, his horses and dog his only companions. He is simply unable to move past the death of his partner, Mike. Every day he hears Mike’s gentle voice in his head and when it falls silent, there is such pain and loss, but while it whispers there is so much love and remembrance of a life together that was filled with happiness. Every once in a while when the snow falls deep, a traveler or two gets lost on Caleb’s mountain and so it was no surprise when the call came in that someone needed his help and the police could not get through the snow to aid the traveler.
Paul was a party boy, living for the moment and wasting his life drinking and having meaningless sex. On vacation with his friends, he runs off the snow-covered road leading away from the resort he and his friends are staying at and calls for help. The night is cold and Paul is not dressed for the weather, so when Caleb finds him he is in shock and fading rapidly. Caleb takes him home and strips him down, using his own body heat to bring Paul back from the edge that night. For three days the two men, total opposites in every way, are stuck together in Caleb’s home. During that time something both terrifying and magical happens. But Paul must accept his own self-worth and change the way he lives and Caleb must let go of a past that he cannot even imagine living without. If they can—if these two lost, wounded souls can move forward just a bit, then there is the real possibility that love can come to the mountain again.
Snowman is an incredibly beautiful story that captures you from the first page. Rowan creates characters that radiate beyond the page and slowly we are enmeshed in their lives, privy to their innermost thoughts, and lost in their sorrow and their joy. The slow tango that defined how Paul and Caleb would pursue each other slowly unfolded. While there was instant spark, this was not insta love, rather, it was a series of letting go and recreating oneself and moving forward when it was so so much easier to remain locked in the past. To watch both Paul and Caleb fight to gain a foothold in the world that threatened to swallow them both was nothing short of brilliant. Then to get a glimpse at the possibility that they could fall in love and be together was moving beyond words.
With a lovely cast of side characters who grounded the story even more fully in reality, Snowman was the total package. The novel boasts a well-written story, interesting side plots and people, a slow building love that threatened to end before it began ,and the most intensely poetic glimpse at how a man can mourn the loss of the one he loves. This was a novel of deep, deep emotions and such sweet and tender love. I highly recommend Snowman by Isabelle Rowan to you.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.