On a blustery afternoon, Kylie Gray wanders into an antique shop and buys an enchanting snow globe. “There’s a story behind that snow globe,” the antique dealer tells her. The original owner, he explains, was a German toymaker who lost his wife and son right before Christmas. When the grieving widower received the handcrafted snow globe as a Christmas gift, he saw the image of a beautiful woman beneath the glass – a woman who would come into his life, mend his broken heart, and bring him back to the world of the living. The dealer also tells Kylie that the snow globe has passed from generation to generation, somehow always landing in the hand of a person in special need of a Christmas miracle.Kylie could use a miracle herself. Maybe this Christmas the snow globe can bring her a new love. A hopeful shake leads her on an adventure that makes a believer out of her. When Kylie shares the story of the snow globe with her best friends – two women with problems of their own – they don’t believe it. But they’re about to discover that at Christmastime, sometimes the impossible becomes possible and miracles really do come true.
I was really taken with the premise of this book. A magic snow globe that shows people what they need to make their lives whole? What a neat idea! I mean, who doesn’t have a few holes in their life that need patching? It sounded like a recipe for an uplifting tale of mended hearts and happy endings. I was really intrigued to see where Ms. Roberts would go with this, and what else there would be to the story.
The Snow Globe is the story of three friends, Kylie, Suzanne, and Allison, and how their lives are all changed for the better by the intervention of the snow globe that Kylie discovered in an antique store while on vacation. The book is more like three short stories than a single plot. Each woman takes her turn with the snow globe, and each of their experiences is pretty much a stand-alone episode. There isn’t an overarching plot to tie the three together beyond the fact that they are all friends and each in need of the snow globe’s version of Christmas cheer.
The snow globe starts with Kylie, and her story is the longest and most involved. She’s suffering from the twin evils of romantic rejection and unemployment. Her fiancé dumped her for her sister (and the sister actually started dating him!). Suzanne is a real estate agent and a workaholic who’s lost sight of the fact that having a beautiful house and nice things isn’t synonymous with having a great life. And Allison is missing the companionship and support of her grandmother, the only sane member of her dysfunctional family.
And one by one, the snow globe shows these women the key to turning themselves into happy and fulfilled people. Nothing more, nothing less. And when I say nothing more, I mean it. Although well-written, The Snow Globe lacks even the pretense of a deeper shade of meaning. The stories are sweet enough to send a diabetic into sugar shock, and the happy endings don’t have the slightest speed bumps on their way to their pat resolutions. This results in an almost complete lack of dramatic tension. You read on, though, because there’s an undeniable satisfaction to watching that which was crooked become smooth. No stress, no complications. It’s kind of like the feeling you get when you iron a wrinkly shirt (unless you’re like me and despise ironing, I suppose). There’s no doubt about whether you’ll be able to get the shirt smooth and beautiful-looking in the end (unless you’re like me and run out of patience, or burn the silly thing), but you feel good about it when you see a formerly unwearable shirt hanging, pristine, on its hanger.
All three of the women in The Snow Globe are people most of us can probably recognize. They’re normal women with normal problems to which readers can easily relate. Most of us have had the rude awakening of discovering that our boyfriend was actually a callow idiot, struggled to manage a mortgage payment or a credit card bill every month, or missed the love and support of someone no longer with us. If you’re in the mood for an afternoon-sized dose of pure happy ever after, The Snow Globe is just the ticket.
This book was given to Elvie for review by Sheila Roberts and St. Martin’s Press. You can visit Sheila on the web at Sheila’s Place.