Andrew Evans is on a photography tour. He’s after the perfect photo and is determined to get it. Unfortunately, by not paying attention to the tour leader, he winds up trapped in a snowstorm that arrived way earlier than expected. Andrew’s not dressed for snow and, freezing, he looks for shelter and finds it in a lone cabin in the woods. However, he’s not prepared when he sees there is another man occupying it.
Art Evans (no relation) has been holed up in the cabin. When he and Andrew meet, he’s surly and rude. Eventually, Art and Andrew begin to get along and actually talk. One thing leads to another and they wind up sleeping together in the cabin’s one bed. Things are going well; there’s food, water, clothing, and even chickens.
Soon enough, the men realize they’re going to have to leave their little blizzard oasis or else they will eventually run out of food and starve. Can they get through the snowstorm alive? Can their fledgling relationship survive the strain?
I love snowed in stories and when I saw this novella, I grabbed it up. Unfortunately, this one didn’t work out for me at all.
Let’s start with the MCs. I found Andrew to be somewhat annoying and he comes across as a bit haughty. However, he does develop and becomes a little more palatable. Art? Well, his character is supposed to be rough and loud, and I think he’s also an attempt at comedy. This fell flat for me. In fact, he’s almost creepily crude and rude. Here’s an example. The men are crossing from the sauna to the house through the snow when Art gets “playful” and Andrew doesn’t like it:
“Fuck me!” he shouted happily, smearing my face in the snow. “It’s a bit nippy out here!”
“Fuck you!” I shouted back, finally bucking him off me.
“Fuck you? Let me find a piece of that wood we just cut, and I’ll gladly shove it up your chocolate hot dog hallway!”
Some may find that amusing, and that’s ok. However, I found it crude and, actually, kind of (painfully) gross.
I did like the scenes with the chickens. They were cute and sometimes downright adorable. I don’t really want to give away the reasons why they’re in the cabin, but I’ll say this. When I read Art’s explanation, I was quite moved. That is the turning point for me. He went from being loud and rude to a sensitive man. With this, the author beautifully opened my heart.
The men trek through the mountains to get to their destination and I don’t want to blab it to you how it call comes together. This part of the story was sort of exciting, but I also feel like it dragged a bit. Also, I began to feel a little lost. There were some points where I wasn’t entirely sure what was going on. I would go back to re-read passages to see what I might be missing, but still didn’t get it.
I also didn’t get the ending. They arrive at their destination, but for me, the story falls apart. They’re greeted by a woman, but I was left with a lot of questions, such as who the photos on the wall are and why a task wasn’t completed. That’s pretty much it. Done. Suddenly, we jump to nine months later and there’s a paragraph’s worth of summary.
I wanted to love this novella, but I just can’t. I think if it were longer, with more time to explain some things, it would be really solid. I can cautiously recommend it to people who like a little adventure mixed in with their story.