Lost Love Dipped in Sadness, Snow and Earth

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by Mike & Fossfor

The Snowing & Greening of Thomas Passmore
by Paul Burman

Some memories are like photos – snapshots – that hang in neat frames at the back of the mind. Sometimes they shake at night and rattle a train of images into our dreams.
The Snowing and Greening of Thomas Passmore follows Thomas through a fractured path of memories as he tries to work out what on earth has happened to him. One moment he is waking from an Australian beach, the next he is landing at Heathrow Airport. He is a man adrift, trying to stay awake as he tumbles towards his lost love, Kate. Behind him and before him are his memories of his life in England and Australia; his wife Elin and his children. Slipping through his worlds he remembers his childhood, his fathers suicide:
The memory of my father as a person recedes. With it goes part of who I am – my link with who I’ve come from, my connection to our past.
And his finding and losing of Kate.
Where’s the Kate I’ve known? Where am I? We’ve both vanished.
Paul Burman, in this his debut novel, weaves a lyrical tale told with great love and tenderness that spins a magical tale of lost love dipped in sadness, snow and earth. The writing is excellent:
The sea is the colour of granite and the sky is rusty-veined quartz, and between them they’re grinding the day smooth, clean, polished.
The air rasps against the back of my throat, condenses and becomes an icicle growing in my lungs.
The story heart wrenching and mysterious:
I’ve discovered a world without real dialogue.
Paul pitches the pace right, with the reader wanting to see what happens and at the same time wanting to linger looking at the world that he paints. There is a great love of the land and this is used powerfully in the book. And it’s almost as if Paul takes Thomas past life, his hurt and his love, and pours concrete over them, burying them in hard cold blocks that Thomas has built his new life in Australia on.
The connection between yesterday and today is getting too thin to trace.
During the book, like the flowers that break through the urban world covering his childhood landscape, the green shoots of Thomas’ past life break through the concrete of the past until towards the end they are coloured white in snow and burst forth in greenery as Thomas’ loves live again in him and become one with him.
If you love a tale well told, with wonder and intrigue; a tale with layers, a heart and a soul, then read this. It is wonderful.

You can order The Snowing & Greening of Thomas Passmore here or direct at Paperbooks.

Art by Fossfor created for The View From Here. (Click on the image above for a full blown view!)


Jane Turley said...

It's rare that I find the need to read a book twice, but this is one of them. It's so rich in description and texture you want to savour every moment but at the same time the story propels you along in the quest to find the outcome.

There is a lot of "snowing" in this book (which you will only really understand if you read it) and at one point I wondered when the "greening" would occur. But when you get there, it is well worth waiting for and it is a truly beautiful moment rarely captured in literature.

A great review Mike which does justice to a wonderful book.

kathleenmaher said...

Beautiful, Paul and Mike both. My husband's racing through the novel now: how he snatched it up before me attests to his sneaky greed. On the plus side, he's a fast and astute reader, who reads choice parts out loud, as if my appetite needing further whetting.

the Amateur Book Blogger said...

Have you seen TSAGOTP is showing on the Daily Mail's This week's books!

Great review Mike - I'm only part way through it, and it's spot on.

Mike French said...

Thanks for the daily Mail tip off TABB


"Dead ends" eh? Must have missed those :-)

Stella said...

I can hardly wait to read it!