A lost sheep

This is my review of La neige en deuil by Henri Troyat.

This explores the tension between two brothers: Isaïe who lives the quiet life of a shepherd in a remote Alpine village after suffering brain damage following a tragic accident which cost him his career as a respected guide, and Marcellin, the much younger ne'er-do-well brother on whom he dotes. A life-changing drama is triggered by a plane crash on the icebound mountain above the village. I assume Troyat had some knowledge of mountaineering, since the book describes a nail-biting ascent. The story is well-constructed with strong dialogue revealing the psychology of the two men and vivid, original prose. The most striking aspect of this powerful novella is the description of the ice and snow at high altitude in changing weathers and times of day, and the hallucinatory effects these can wreak on a lone traveller.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5 Stars

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