Summary

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Last Updated September 5, 2023.

"Snow" is a very short story, a vignette written in the second person, a sort of reverie from a woman to the lover with whom she once spent a formative winter in a cottage in the country. There is no clear narrative flow to the story — it takes the shape of the woman's memories, beginning with the arrival at the cottage in which the young couple did not really belong. At first, the arrival of a chipmunk took them entirely by surprise. The narrator remembers painting over the grape-covered wallpaper that had been there when they arrived, and remembers the snow particularly. People visited the cottage as if expecting that this adventure on the part of the young lovers would not "work" — they made friends, but they seemed to expect the couple to return soon to where they came from.

At length, it seems, they did. There appears to have been no "drama" behind this — the narrator notes that her husband told her the stories others told, when visiting, seemed dramatic because of what they omitted, and that anything can be made dramatic. For "drama," the narrator details a time she returned to the cottage years later, when Allen, their neighbor, had died, to pay her respects to his widow. She remembers that their pool was still covered in black plastic, and some crocuses were trying, but failing, to push up through the snow in the front garden of what had been her house.

The narrator says that she remembers only the snow of that winter, and not the snowplow which "seemed always to be there." The omissions are what make the memory one she clings to.

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