The Snowman’s Children is a moving, psychologically intense first novel that chronicles a harrowing childhood incident and its lingering aftermath. In the mid-1970s, as a serial killer called the Snowman stalks the streets of suburban Detroit and the racial tension that had ripped the city in half a decade earlier continues to underscore every aspect of daily life, Mattie and Spencer, two exceptionally bright eleven year-old boys wage an increasingly desperate, misguided campaign to save their friend Theresa, a brilliant, cryptic, troubled young girl, from descending into terrifying mental illness. The final, grand act of that campaign has shattering effects on many lives, drives Mattie’s family from their home, and ultimately lures him, seventeen years later, back to Detroit to seek out his lost friends and make one last attempt to set things right.
Though the ghostly presence of the Snowman charges these pages with angst and dread, The Snowman’s Children is less about the killer or his victims than the fragile nature of childhood, the devastating fragmentation of Detroit, and the universal longing for closure, understanding, forgiveness, and the love of one’s friends.
Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird in its vivid vision of childhood remembered, and infused with eerily beautiful imagery and compulsive suspense that bring to mind Smilla’s Sense of Snow, The Snowman’s Children marks the arrival of an important new voice in American literature.