Snow Falling on Cedars: Quite a Tale

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Winter winds may be enclosing me on either side, but I will not acknowledge the ice or the cold. The tiny princess in the pale blue gown has transported me back to the distant lands of my childhood. Although she is just on the other side of the window pane, I feel like she is dancing right beside me. The harsh cold only intensifies my stare despite the gentle tug of my friend, who is pleading with me to enter the nearest store.  I finally flutter back to reality and accept his jacket, as we meander on Chicago’s streets. For a brief moment the Christmas tree nearby sets off recollections of past winters, but I recognize that the cold is pushing my body too far. As we hug for warmth I know that it was something worth waiting for. This magnetism with winter is what compelled me to select this book. Snow Falling on Cedars sounds like an image snatched from the mind’s eye and recreated on paper. This beauty is immensely difficult to capture, and the local theater can exemplify such disenchantment often.

The artificial world of Holly Weird depicts many summertime beaches in movies, and mostly neglects winter. This novel was made into a movie, which I haven’t viewed but assume that some winter scenes are present. Winter in itself may be an element that will affect the mood of the book, and change my emotions constantly. Like many actions in the book that are simple, putting on gloves is something so simple, but it can trigger such excitement of things to come. The snow that covers the world is just a big comfortable blanket that warms my heart, as opposed to warming my numb fingers. I assumed that Snow Falling on Cedars would have some nice images too. The shop windows and the falling snow keep calling back to me, causing me to fall in love with winter more and more every snowfall. My friend is there too, holding my waist gently, but firmly. We can glance forever at the delightful world around us and watch the stars dance to music that we can’t quite hear.

From the moment I picked up this book, I thought about thumping through wet snow while snowballs are being hurled at me. Guterson surprised me because winter was not there at the very beginning of the novel like I had anticipated. Instead I learned of the main character, who is a man that is between a rock and hard place inside a courtroom. The word choice Guterson selects in the first chapter is careful not to worry me but rather entice me to read on about this strange fellow. Also, there is a great deal of Japanese culture which stems from his character, which can show me a new world.

Nature is eventually brought into play and that adds an exotic feeling of ecstasy; another guarantee that I will enjoy this book. “The branches of the Cedars were hung with it and beyond them the sky lay immaculate and decembral, the starts chilled points of light.” On page 443, David Guterson sketches this portrait of a winter night and the mystery of what is to come, and it thrills my senses. I know one thing for certain; the cover will stay with me forever. It brings to mind a quote that paints a similar image of being cast under the gleam of a moon, despite humans being world-losers and world-forsakers. <T.S. Eliot> Being a “music maker and dreamer of dreams” myself, snowflakes will be falling frequently into the locks of my hair, even if my eyes see the April sun. My heart will allow this deception, for the flakes of snow are not easy to brush away and they can make me blissful when everything else fails to.

(Something to cool you down this summer, my reflection and a book that deserves a second look.)

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