My enormous thanks to the publicists at Team Bookends for sending me a copy of Single in the Snow by Helen Whitaker in return for an honest review. I’m delighted to share my review today.
Published in paperback by Hodder on 29th December 2022, Single in the Snow is available to order through the links here.
Single in the Snow
Jen is turning thirty and has spent her entire life jumping from man to man. So, when her latest relationship ends in disaster, she decides she needs to stop pleasing others and focus on herself. And where better to start afresh than the beautiful Canadian ski resort of Whistler?
Okay, she’s broke, unemployed, and has never so much as strapped on a pair of skis – but Jen is determined to make it on her own. She just has one rule: to stay single for the entire ski season.
When a new job forces Jen into contact with snowboarding instructor Art, the two of them are set on keeping their distance. It shouldn’t be hard, since they hate one another on sight – and Art knows better than anyone how to keep other people at arm’s length.
The problem is, the more time they are forced to spend together, the clearer it seems that Jen’s promise to stay single might not be quite so simple . . .
My Review of Single in the Snow
Jen’s making a fresh start in life.
What a fabulous book! Single in the Snow is funny and sad in equal measure and is a really wonderful read.
The plot is so important to today’s world. Certainly there is romance in the background, but Helen Whitaker explores love in many forms, including that in families and between friends, the most important of all being self-love. She illustrates to perfection the way so often we mould ourselves to fit in with others, or how we suppress our true feelings so that we don’t get hurt or display our real emotions. Both Jen and Art have demons to overcome and their development through the narrative is just brilliantly done.
Indeed, I adored the way that Helen Whitaker links the similarities between Jen’s physical efforts and Art’s mental health in a way that acts as a catalyst for the reader’s emotions and makes Single in the Snow absolutely belie the opinions that romantic fiction is ‘fluffy’ or meaningless in any way. This is a book that has lightness of touch, romance and humour but which thrums with mature emotion too, making it highly effective and affecting.
The characters have depth and attraction – often because of, rather than in spite of, their flaws. The one exception for me was Eduardo. Much as I abhor violence, if I ever met Eduardo in real life, I really would have to punch him! Jen is a triumph. She is a kind of Everywoman who embodies traits that all readers can appreciate and Art’s realistic struggles to come to terms with what has happened in his past are simply heart rending.
Aside from the developing, and repairing, relationships in the story, the themes are wonderfully explored. Workplace harassment and bullying, taking a chance, being true to yourself, mental and physical health, happiness and how we find it and so much more fill the pages of Single in the Snow to the extent that I laughed and cried reading this story and thought it was fabulous.
With a gorgeous snowy setting, romance and reality woven together with consummate skill and characters to fall in love with, Single in the Snow is the perfect winter read. I loved it.
About Helen Whitaker
Helen Whitaker is a journalist and author living in London. Formerly the Entertainment Director of Glamour UK, her day job is currently Editor of High Life magazine and she writes books in her lunch hour, in the evenings and in any free time she has around parenting. She has been published in Grazia, The Telegraph, Fabulous, Stella, Red and BBC Three. She lives in Walthamstow with her husband and son. Her first novel, The School Run, came out in 2019, and I Give it a Year came out in 2021.