Snow country is one of the most moving books I've read in a long time. As I read the foreword I realised that it was part of trilogy - the first instalment of which I read when it was first published in 2005. Faulks, being the incredible writer he is, I'm sure there are details in that first book that will link with and which are pertinent to the story in Snow Country. But as there is a 16 year gap between the two books, I'm going to have go back and read the first one again to see what I might have missed.
Snow country is essentially a love story, but the agonies and ecstasies of the two central protagonists are so beautifully played. The missed opportunities, the misguided decisions and actions and the miscommunication - so reminiscent of the Henry James novels that I read as a teenager through to my twenties - are exquisitely examined. There is such a depth of emotion in this story. Add in the fabulous landscape of Austria, the looming first war and the march towards a second and the activism prevalent across Europe in the interwar years and you have an ever-present sense of gathering danger through out.
I found the narrative flowed exceptionally well. I found the characters absorbing, each in their own way, and the plot was well paced and provided interesting turns of fate. But there is pathos and sadness there too. This is a two-hanky book. The first for when you are reading it. You'll need the second for the days and weeks after you've finished reading it when you discover that Anton and Lena won't leave your thoughts, or for those times when someone makes a comment or asks a question and suddenly you're back with Rudolf, or one of the other characters and yet another deeper level of realisation pops into your conscious mind. A wonderful read and this book is a keeper, I know I will return to it.