Read First Snow, Last Light Online Free - In the last of the trilogy of Newfoundland novels that began with the critically acclaimed, prizewinning and internationally bestselling The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, Wayne Johnston brings us an epic family mystery told in two voices: that of Ned Vatcher, the first Newfoundland media mogul, and the ever-fascinating Sheilagh Fielding.
Ned Vatcher, only 14, ambles home from school in the chill hush that precedes the first storm of the winter of 1936 to find the house locked, the family car missing, and his parents gone without a trace. From that point on, his life is driven by the need to find out what happened to the Vanished Vatchers. His father, Edgar, born to a poor family of fishermen, had risen to become the right-hand man to the colony's prime minister, then suffered an unexpected fall from grace. His mother, Megan, London-born and already unhappy in St John's, spiralled deeper into despair. Was it murder? Was it suicide? Had they run away? Most of all, why had they left their only child behind?
Ned soon finds himself enmeshed in another family, that of his missing father and the poverty from which the man somehow escaped. His grandparents, Nan and Reg, his Uncle Cyril and others, are themselves haunted by the inexplicable disappearance, years before, of a third Vatcher, a young man who was lost at sea on a calm and sunny day. Two other people loom large as Ned builds an empire to insulate him from everything that brought his parents down: a Jesuit priest named Father Duggan, and Sheilagh Fielding, a boozy giantess who, while wandering the city streets at night, composes satiric columns that scandalize the rich and powerful. In Ned, Fielding sees a surrogate for her two lost children, the secret that dogs her throughout her life, while Ned believes the enigmatic Fielding to be his soulmate.
The novel builds to a spectacular conclusion, the solving of the bizarrely interwoven mystery of all the Vanished Vatchers. Only Wayne Johnston could create such a mix of larger-than-life, myth-making characters and amazing plot twists that leave us contemplating not only the tragedy of the Vatchers but the impossibility of resisting the forces that compel us to act in ways we thought we never could.
|Title||:||First Snow, Last Light|
|Number of Pages||:||512 pages|
September 28, 2017
3+ stars. There's so much I like in Wayne Johnston's novels, but First Snow, Last Light didn't quite come together for me. Johnston is a Newfoundland writer, and he writes about that province with so much love and humour and a touch of melancholy. He creates brilliant characters, fearlessly takes...
August 23, 2017
As Nan Finn said of people who went missing in the woods at twilight, they had been led astray, not by fairies but by snow when there should have been no snow, a rogue blizzard when winter was a month away, led astray by the pale, bewitching light of late November, the lulling light of sunset in...
August 22, 2017
We begin with a 14 year old boy, Ned Vatcher, who comes home from school to discover his parents are gone. They've disappeared without a word on the day of the first snow storm of the winter, in St. John's, Newfoundland, November 1936, leaving him behind. Ned has come home from school to an empty...
September 22, 2017
I am giving this book a 4 star even though I think that Johnston over-wrote it. There was a period in the middle when I thought I was going to bail but I am glad I kept at it. Good character development allowed me to empathize with many of the characters.
I love how he describes the landscape of...
October 16, 2017
A real page turner from page one! A mystery that illuminates the history of Newfoundland.
September 19, 2017
September 05, 2017
Fourteen-year-old Ned Vatcher returns home from school one day in 1936 to discover that his parents, Edgar and Megan, have disappeared. Though he has to live with his paternal grandparents, Nan Finn and Reg, it is Father Duggan, a Jesuit priest, and Sheilagh Fielding, a friend of his parents, who...
September 23, 2017
Oh my goodness. The first thing I want to say is thank you for choosing me to read this book. I love the author Wayne Johnson and I loved this book. I received it about 6 weeks ago and I wanted to just savour it and I saved it to read on an upcoming trip to Newfoundland. I started the book on Sun...
October 02, 2017
Wayne Johnston writes of Newfoundland as though it were another character in the story - he writes with admiration and love for its tenacious grit and plucky determination. Johnston's characters are always eccentric, and hardy enough to survive on this often harsh and unforgiving island. Ned Vatc...
September 28, 2017
I usually like Wayne Johnston's novels, but I must admit that I don't know whether I would have finished this one if Sheilagh Fielding hadn't been in it. I really liked Ned in the first half of the book, the young boy deserted by his parents with no clue of their whereabouts. However, once he bec...