cover image The Fallen Snow

The Fallen Snow

John J. Kelley. Stone Cabin, $15.95 paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-9884148-0-8

In a gripping tale of self-exploration and atonement, Kelley's debut skillfully evokes the unpredictability of life in 1918 through mesmerizing descriptions and fully realized characters.%C2%A0Joshua Hunter volunteers to fight in the Great War to escape his rural Virginia home, becoming a respected sniper in wartime France. Unfettered from his close-knit Appalachian community's expectations, he develops a growing quietness and strength despite the ugliness of war. Returning home a crippled war hero, Joshua feels the old familiar expectations becoming more onerous. And even an engagement and job offer cannot erase the past, the echoes of war, and a well-guarded secret. Kelley's novel is emotionally complex and brimming with grit. Told in a plainspoken manner through parallel story lines%E2%80%94the present in Appalachia and the past in France%E2%80%94this story will appeal to readers of coming-of-age stories with a historical bent.