Saturday, December 18, 2021

Review: The Secret of Snow by Viola Shipman (Blog Tour)


About the Book

Author: Viola Shipman
ISBN: 9781525806445
Publication Date: October 26, 2021
Publisher: Graydon House Books

Book Summary

When Sonny Dunes, a So-Cal meteorologist who knows only sunshine and 72-degree days, has an on-air meltdown after she learns she’s being replaced by an AI meteorologist (which the youthful station manager reasons "will never age, gain weight or renegotiate its contract."), the only station willing to give a 50-year-old another shot is one in a famously non-tropical place--her northern Michigan hometown. 

Unearthing her carefully laid California roots, Sonny returns home and reaclimates to the painfully long, dark winters dominated by a Michigan phenomenon known as lake-effect snow. But beyond the complete physical shock to her system, she's also forced to confront her past: her new boss is a former journalism classmate and mortal frenemy and, more keenly, the death of a younger sister who loved the snow, and the mother who caused Sonny to leave. 

To distract herself from the unwelcome memories, Sonny decides to throw herself headfirst (and often disastrously) into all things winter to woo viewers and reclaim her success: sledding, ice-fishing, skiing, and winter festivals, culminating with the town’s famed Winter Ice Sculpture Contest, all run by a widowed father and Chamber director whose honesty and genuine love of Michigan, winter and Sonny just might thaw her heart and restart her life in a way she never could have predicted.

My Review

Meteorologist, Sonny Dunes, loves the warm climate in Southern California and loves being successful in her job.  Then, her world caves in when her network replaces her with a robot. At fifty years old, Sonny does not want to start all over.  

When Sonny gets a call from a former college friend from her hometown in Michigan, she’s not sure she wants to accept the meteorologist job at such a small station.  However, no one else is willing to give her a chance.  Her agent assures her this is her best route for now.   

Reluctantly, Sonny heads home to Michigan and moves back with her mother.  She is surrounded by memories of her younger sister who died when they were younger.  Her sister loved winter, Sonny does not.  Going from her warm climate back to a very cold one is not an easy task for Sonny.  She vows to make this opportunity a success, no matter how difficult it is. 

Sonny is immediately thrown into winter activities, new relationships and mending old ones. The most important relationship being with her mother, who is more than happy to have her daughter home again.   

Sonny’s career takes some rocky turns, especially when a rival is out to get the job for herself. There’s also a touch of romance in the air for Sonny but it’s not easy for her when she is surrounded by unpleasant memories. 

Wow, can I say that again?  Wow!  I can’t say how much I loved this book.  It grabbed me from the first page.  I could not put it down.  I felt myself totally transported to Michigan.  I even felt the chill of the snow, although I live in a warm climate. 

The characters are quite realistic in extremely true-to-life situations.  It’s the perfect book to read at this time of the year.  It makes you laugh, it makes you cry.  It’s filled with hope, inspiration and family love. 

This is my first Viola Shipman book and definitely won’t be my last.  I’m on my to check out this author’s backlist right now.  This is going on my “Best of 2021” list for sure.


FTC Disclosure: I voluntarily reviewed a free Advance Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review.  All opinions expressed are my own.

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Author Bio: 

Viola Shipman is the pen name for Wade Rouse, a popular, award-winning memoirist. Rouse chose his grandmother's name, Viola Shipman, to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his writing. Rouse is the author of The Summer Cottage, as well as The Charm Bracelet and The Hope Chest which have been translated into more than a dozen languages and become international bestsellers. He lives in Saugatuck, Michigan and Palm Springs, California, and has written for People, Coastal Living, Good Housekeeping, and Taste of Home, along with other publications, and is a contributor to All Things Considered.

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  1. This author has been on my TBR and I'm so excited to see how much you enjoyed it. I've got a few audible credits and I think this one needs to be one of the books I spend it on!


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