The Touch of Snow
The narrator of The Touch of Snow--an original, first-person novel--writes: "My name is Mara. And this is what happened to me ... on the other side of the world." With these words, the reader moves simultaneously through the impoverished landscape of Southeast Asia and the psyche of Mara, the twenty-two-year-old narrator. Before going to the tropics to teach English, Mara expected to see poverty, but she's unprepared for the despair and danger she encounters there. Eventually, a musician named Rain befriends her, and Mara comes to rely on him for protection against things unknown. Through daily English lessons, their friendship grows into a passionate love, one that overshadows obvious ideological and cultural differences. Eventually, Mara enters a blinding extremity of impulse and emotion, setting herself on a course toward the construction of a new life with Rain, unaware that the horrific undoing of this life lies along the same path.