A Wreath of Snow by Liz Curtis Higgs, author of Mine is the Night and other fine novels and books, is a simple Christmas story of redemption. Unlike her past novels, this novel didn’t have the complexity or depth I expected.
It’s a nice novel and beautiful in its hard bound edition. In this story of reconciliation, the novel opens with Meg Campbell shivering in the cold and in a hurry to leave her home. Her brother, Alan entombed in his pain, has pushed her away yet again and made another Christmas miserable. Meg leaves abruptly to board a train back to her town home in Edinburgh. She is a teacher in 1894 and once her father held her as an example to Alan. Then, drunk Gordon Shaw accidentally causes Alan to become paralyzed in a curling accident on the ice. Gordon leaves town in shame, unforgiven by Meg’s parents and Alan.
Gordon Shaw has returned to the town accidentally this night and is also on the same train as Meg. But many years had passed since that night of his youth and Meg doesn’t recognize Gordon. He’s sitting across from her, but he recognizes her and struggles with how to tell her the truth. After the train becomes blocked by snow with it’s rails iced over, the passengers of the train must hike three miles back to the train station. Meg is forced to return home, but this time with Gordon. She knows by now Gordon’s identity and this begins a struggle between them on when or if they should tell her parents and Alan the truth of his identity. They know him as Mr. Gordon.
The end of the novel felt too simple. For anyone who loves Hallmark movies, this story is right up your alley. In the Author Notes, Higgs explains the meaning of the title, “A Wreath of Snow:”
“Like many stories, this one began with a book—World Railways of the Nineteenth Century—picked up for a song at a used-book shop, then devoured for months until steam came pouring out. How I do love trains! As for the novella’s title, a wreath is not only something displayed during the festive season; it’s also the Scot’s word for ‘a bank of drift of snow.’”
I gave this book four stars.
*book given by publisher to review.