Please welcome Sophia Rose to the blog with a review of the fictional novel for women on holidays “The Secret of Snow” by Viola Shipman, part of the HTP Holiday Romance Books tour.
Comforting and familiar as a beloved sweater, Viola Shipman’s first holiday novel is a promise of cordial family traditions, a real experience in humor, and the enduring power of love and friendship.
Sony Dunes, a SoCal meteorologist who knows only sun and seventy-two degrees, is being replaced by an artificial intelligence meteorologist, whose young station manager assumes he “will never grow old, gain weight or renegotiate his contract.” The only station that is willing to give a fifty-year-old girl another shot is a station in a famous non-tropical place – her hometown in northern Michigan.
Revealing its carefully laid-out California roots, Sony returns home and re-adapts to the painfully long, dark winters dominated by the Michigan phenomenon known as the Lake Snow Effect. But beyond the utter physical shock to her system, she is also forced to confront her past: her new boss, a former press classmate and mortal husband; More so, the death of a young sister who loved the snow; And the mother who made Sonny leave.
To distract herself from the unwanted memories, Sony decides to throw herself in the head for everything to do with winter to woo the viewers and reclaim her success. From sledding and ice fishing to skiing and winter festivals, the joy culminates with the city’s famous winter ice sculpture competition. The events manager is a widowed father and director of the Chamber of Commerce, whose true love for Michigan, Winter and Sony may have thawed her heart and started her life anew in a way she could never have predicted.
Sophia Rose’s review
Hitting the bottom of the rock is the easy and sometimes involuntary part, it’s the decision to climb back up and it can be dumb. Poor Sony has already lost a little sister, a loving father, and now, through no fault of her own, a job she did well. The way back home is not easy, but it is spectacular in Sony’s personal style. Although this was my first novel Viola Shipman, it will definitely not be my last.
Sonny Dunes, known as Amber Rose Murphy, was happy with life and felt wonderful at the age of fifty in the hot and sunny Palm Springs, where she was known locally as their news forecaster, but now she has been replaced by AI her boss claims will not age or demand a raise and she is forced Returning to a place full of painful memories and full of guilt – her hometown of Traverse City, Michigan where heat and sun are scarce, but the attitude against her is great.
Sony is a runner. When the situation gets tough, Sony sets off, but she does not mat a door, so she tends to burn the bridge on her way out of town every time. As you can imagine, this makes relationships and arrangement difficult. The setback forces Sony to deal with what she’s ignored for years and it would have been heartbreaking to be on a journey with her – facing her memories, her mother, old friends, her friends, and now starting over with her meteorological career and new TV jobs at the time.
It was not all or just deep drama, but he had some humor and hot blurry moments to balance it out. Sony’s return to the small town news was a dip in snow and ice. Her boss sends her and her fun and weird cameraman to some crazy situations like cardboard sled derby, ice fishing, trail snowshoes and more. Sony may have grown up in northern Michigan and the lake effect chooses there, but for the past few decades she has been a desert resident in California so it was crazy to see her trying to be glam when she had to worry about heels on the ice or freezing her in those cute snow clothes. Icicle gets everything on camera, for the amusement of local viewers. And there was a side story of a love affair with a kind and friendly widower who runs the local chamber of commerce and is a great guy who gives back to the community. Mason was a teddy bear.
The affair with Mason was not first and foremost. This is very much Sony’s healing and comeback. There are some wonderful moments with her mother, with Iskal and being his girlfriend, settling things with her boss, dealing with her sister’s memories, and discovering who the evil terrorist who is trying to drown her in her work is – it was easy to practice. Sony goes from bottom to top, to start, stumble and finally win, which is perfect for a winter holiday book heroine.
But it was also about the inhuman character who dominates the story alongside Sony. Northern Michigan – especially the Grand Travers Bay area. It was an ode to winter, but also this beautiful and active place that was admirably described even through the early reservations of Sony and its ignorance.
Running the second set up close is the fascinating backdrop of Sony’s work as a weather forecaster and meteorologist. I liked that it got some clear descriptions, and I had a good idea of how her work.
Overall, I was very enthusiastic about the story, especially the intertwined relationship, the descriptions and the fascinating and pleasant writing style. I will definitely be back for more of these heartwarming stories of family, friends and love. Definitely recommend to readers of literature Women and Holidays.
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