The Secret of Snow
Viola Shipmam (Pen name for Wade Rouse)
Graydon House 2021
“The Secret of Snow,” written by Wade Rouse under the pen name of Viola Shipman, is a melodramatic tale that aims at three key emotional targets: feminism, grief, and love.
Sonny Dunes, 50, a noted and respected meteorologist, is fired by a Palm Springs, California television station, and replaced by “Almee,” a robot. After drowning her anger in alcohol, she bursts into the studio while the robot is presenting the weather. Sonny beats and tears at the weather backdrop green screen with her shoe until it collapses, all the while screaming, “She’s not real.” After her meltdown, the only offer for a job is from an old college mate, who is now news director at a TV station in Sonny’s old home town in Michigan.
Sonny begins to acclimatize to the cold temperatures, but not everyone in the community wants her back, and someone keeps sabotaging her weather newsfeeds. In the backstory, we learn Sonny left Michigan, or “ran away,” because she was traumatized by her younger sister’s death in a winter accident. And then, of course, the author introduces romance into the story. Sonny and the head of the local chamber of commerce responsible for organizing the winter events that Sonny reports become intimate.
… a melodramatic tale that aims at three key emotional targets: feminism, grief, and love.
In this rather simple plotted book, the main attribute is the author’s explanations on various occurrences in Michigan and winter vortex. Otherwise, it’s a mediocre novel with likable characters, a splash of suspense, and maybe a little food for thought: When a woman is replaced by a robot because of her age, that’s not such a remote possibility.