Through the Snow Globe
by Annie Rains
Release Date: August 22, 2023
Reviewed by PJ
Diana Merriman, a physical therapist, is probably the only person in the small town of Snow Haven, North Carolina, who isn’t looking forward to Christmas. It’s been three weeks since her fiancé Linus was critically injured when a car hit him as he biked home from the toy store he owns and manages. Watching him open his eyes is the only gift she wants, but she can’t help losing a little more hope every day.
But an unexpected visit from a friendly neighbor and finding a snow globe of Snow Haven—a gift Linus had hidden in the closet—the night before Christmas Eve changes things in ways Diana never would have imagined. Because on Christmas Eve Diana wakes up to find that it’s not—Christmas Eve, that is. Instead, it’s somehow December 4 all over again, the day Linus got hurt, and as mystified as Diana is, she immediately starts a plan to save her partner from his fate.
Nothing is that simple, of course. Instead of a single repeat of that day, Diana finds herself in an endless loop of December 4, experiencing every possible variation of events. Along the way, she uncovers startling truths about herself, her relationship, and even her career that illustrate the ways she’s retreated from her life—and in the face of life’s slights and outright blows, from her deepest feelings. Suddenly hope is second only to joy as Diana opens her heart to the people she loves in every way she can.
I've not had good luck with books using the Groundhog Day setup...until now. Where other books have left me bored and skipping pages early on, Annie Rains has written a story that engaged both my interest and my heart.
One of the things I most enjoy about an Annie Rains novel is her characters. They are fully developed, multi-layered characters with flaws that are relatable to most readers. While there is a romantic thread in this book, this is primarily Diana's story. Her gradual evolution is a deeply emotional, realistic process that kept me flipping pages to discover what would happen next. I love how Rains uses even the smallest change in Diana's personal life outlook to show the ripples of change within her as well as among those with whom she interacts. It's a thought-provoking process that offers real-life lessons.
If you enjoy Christmas stories with emotional depth, magical realism, life-altering growth, and hard-won, happy endings, I recommend Through the Snow Globe by Annie Rains. Like the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, I have a feeling this heart-tugging book will become one of my annual holiday traditions.