The Snow Line
Four strangers from around the world arrive in India for a wedding. Together, they climb a mountain – but will they see the same thing from the top?
Londoner Reema, who left India before she could speak, is searching for a sign that will help her make a life-changing decision. In pensioner Jackson’s suitcase is something he must let go of, but is he strong enough?
Together with two unlikely companions, they take a road trip up a mountain deep in the Himalayas, heading for the snow line, where the ice begins. But even standing in the same place, surrounded by magnificent views, they see things differently.
As they ascend higher and higher, they must learn to cross the lines that divide them.
'Tessa McWatt is one of our greatest living writers. The Snow Line, her new novel, is a profound meditation on love, ageing, and what it is to be a woman of mixed racial identity and culture. Profoundly moving and epic in its scope, this book provides us with wisdom and reckoning on today's world, one that is ecologically fragile and only just coping with a pandemic. Like all mature writers, McWatt's range of reference is vast and her understanding of humanity plunges us into depths we all long to inhabit. She writes her characters with such intimacy we are thunderstruck by the book's final pages. I closed this book and shed tears.' -- Monique Roffey, author of The Mermaid of Black Conch 'Vivid, rich, and melodic ... Layers of images, memories, and facts ask questions of connections, accountability, and desire - political and personal - and how we meet the complexities that make us. A beautiful read!' -- Olumide Popoola, author of When We Speak of Nothing 'Tessa McWatt's writing is tender, unforgettable, utterly precise. Like performing surgery on a peach.' -- Leone Ross, author of This One Sky Day 'A profound meditation on the music that strangers in a place can make together, and on how the music of a strange place can get inside us, and change us forever. I loved the journey the book takes us on, revisiting some of the geographies readers will remember from The Far Pavilions, while the echoes of King Lear provide an undercurrent of nature's aloofness, its potential for violence.' -- Preti Taneja, author of We That Are Young 'An exceptional, riveting read. Tessa McWatt's rare gifts never fail to enthrall me.' -- Irenosen Okojie, author of Butterfly Fish 'The Snow Line holds up a mirror to the ways India is reflected in today's diaspora.' -- Anjali Joseph, author of Saraswati Park 'Tessa McWatt's The Snow Line reveals life in overlapping panels: consciousness, memory, scenes of violence, and of untenable beauty, "everything dangerous enfolded into everything else." Her prose has Michael Ondaatje's elliptical exactitude, Jane Gardam's terse confidence, but it accumulates, on behalf of her characters - a young woman and an old man, friends - a singular, lingering effect. The Snow Line is a small marvel.' -- Padma Viswanathan, author of The Ever After of Ashwin Rao 'McWatt is a writer who tackles race and identity with great nuance, and from a very broad reach ... The Snow Line suggests that she has done a lifetime of thinking and reading about structural injustice ... The Snow Line is about the displacement of people, the stories that never get told, the commonality of our humanity, and the ever presence of God. We don't feel the full effect of its rare wisdom and gravitational pull until we are finished. The final pages had me in tears.' -- Monique Roffey * The Guardian * 'Delicate and ruminative ... A sympathetic and serious-minded exploration of how well-meaning individuals can abet the misery of others.' -- Anthony Cummins * Daily Mail * 'Tessa McWatt has constructed a moving epic that rises from intimate, complex character portraits written with tenderness and precision.' -- Cameron Woodhead * The Sydney Morning Herald * 'At its core ... The Snow Line is a book about belonging. It conveys a message that many migrants to Australia will understand - carrying feelings of longing and displacement even as they try to carve their place in a new landscape.' -- Rhea L Nath * IndianLink News * 'The Snow Line has wonderful moments of contemplation and compassion for the complexity of lives lived. We are reminded of the beauty of life, in the place where strangers' lives may intersect. Throughout the book, we are transported, in our minds, to the smells, sounds, beauty, and madness of India.' -- Brid Conroy * Mayo News * 'In itself this is an excellent story, but it's the way it's told that makes the novel stand out ... you'll have to read this beautiful, subtle, keenly observed novel to see how things develop in the end.' * Shiny New Books * 'UK-based author Tessa McWatt's narrative is densely, nay immersively detailed, both bleak and rich. Overarching is an intimate understanding of India with a nod to the magnanimity of Sikhs.' -- Samela Harris * The Herald Sun *
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