Review: Snowflake by Louise Nealon

Title: Snowflake

Author: Louise Nealon

Pages: 256 Pages

Publishers: Bonnier Books

The Blurb

The biggest literary debut from Bonnier Books UK in 2021.

A novel for a generation. A debut that defines our time.

Eighteen-year-old Debbie White lives on a dairy farm with her mother, Maeve, and her uncle, Billy. Billy sleeps out in a caravan in the garden with a bottle of whiskey and the stars overhead for company. Maeve spends her days recording her dreams, which she believes to be prophecies.

This world is Debbie’s normal, but she is about to step into life as a student at Trinity College in Dublin. As she navigates between sophisticated new friends and the family bubble, things begin to unravel. Maeve’s eccentricity tilts into something darker, while Billy’s drinking gets worse. Debbie struggles to cope with the weirdest, most difficult parts of herself, her family and her small life. But the fierce love of the White family is never in doubt, and Debbie discovers that even the oddest of families are places of safety.

A startling, honest, laugh and cry novel about growing up and leaving home, only to find that you’ve taken it with you, Snowflake is a novel for a generation, a story about being young, being an outsider and discovering that, underneath it all, we’re all outsiders.

The Review

Snowflake is a coming of age story about Debbie White, a young girl who has spent her life in a small village and everything that life entails. She begins to find herself when she gets a chance to study in Dublin. However the transition from country girl to city life isn’t easy when the ties to home are so strong.

I really enjoyed Snowflake. Louise Nealon’s voice is fresh and shows what it is like to be young in rural Ireland today. Whilst her protagonist Debbie can sometimes be unlikable she is always easy to feel sympathy for. What is a lovely surprise is that at the end of the story is that you are feeling hopeful for Debbie. This is not something I have seen in modern literature recently.

Snowflake by Louise Nealon is available now.

For more information regarding Louise Nealon (@Louise_Nealon) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Bonnier Books (@bonnierbooks_uk) please visit

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