“Rosnau’s sensitive portrayal of the liminal world of adolescence capitivates but is never cloying, nor too clever. As first efforts go, this is as good as it gets. Not since opening Pearl Luke’s debut novel Burning Ground have I encountered such deft, passionate and biting prose from a first-timer. Rosnau is one writer whose book lives up to the jacket hype … Rosnau has exhibited a stunning debut. I am still wincing with identification and recognition. The Sudden Weight Of Snow is light and bright and sparkling with an acidic undertone.”
–The Toronto Star
“The emotional power of Laisha Rosnau’s debut novel descends unexpectedly, leaving the reader tenderly transfixed.”
-Susan Swan, author of Stupid Boys Are Good To Relax With
Set in the interior of British Columbia, this novel tells the story of a year in the life of 17-year old Sylvia (Harper) Kostak. Rosnau describes small-town life, as well as the agonies and ecstasies of growing up, the yearning to break out of a limiting world, and sexual discovery, all with dead-on accuracy. Harper struggles with her mother, Vera, a woman whose life took her so far from the one she dreamed about, and who now looks to the Church for something she lost.
The Sudden Weight of Snow is a quietly powerful novel that tells the story of people whose lives were changed by the 1960s–those who lived it, and those who came after. It is also a tough, often sassy evocation of the angst of adolescence, a humane and compassionate seeking of what makes people who they are. Written always with a vivid sense of place, The Sudden Weight of Snow is an unforgettable novel that introduces a new writer of amazing talent and grace.
“In this moving first novel, Laisha Rosnau demonstrates a clear, keen eye for the nuances of mannerism and the significance of gesture, and gives a vivid account of growing up in a blind alley of a town in the B.C. interior. She also reaches well beyond her setting by means of a structure of slowly converging, and finally colliding, stories.”
-Steven Heighton, author of Afterlands
“The prose and the craft are all present in The Sudden Weight of Snow. But so is a finely balanced, carefully felt, multi-dimensional story. As I read, the bony outlines of Laisha Rosnau’s characters took on curves … true in a way only excellent fiction can be. Each character gropes towards understanding. Their groping makes the story work. Rosnau’s nearly perfect emotional pitch, precise descriptions and gift for nuance makes Harper’s own confusion compelling. Quite an achievement in a first novel.”
–The Ottawa Citizen
“Vancouver writer Laisha Rosnau knows her snow, employing its varied forms in a forested B.C. valley to evoke, in her perceptive debut novel, the suffocating effects of a Bible Belt sawmill town on the lives of believers and pagans alike … Rosnau’s settings and characters are sharply rendered, and she generates some moving moments. Harper’s and Krista’s friendship rings especially true.”
–The Globe and Mail
McClelland & Stewart, April 2002