Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
A Novel

77%

13 Critic Reviews

This is a luxurious book, whose finely detailed evocation of its small-town setting effectively draws the reader to consider its larger issues.
-Publishers Weekly

Synopsis

A “finely wrought, flawlessly written” novel (New York Times Book Review), set on a small island in the Puget Sound, that is “at various moments a courtroom drama, an interracial love story, and a war chronicle” (San Francisco Chronicle). “Guterson has fashioned something haunting and true” (Pico Iyer, Time). Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. A fall 1999 major motion picture.
 

About David Guterson

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David Guterson is the author of the novels East of the Mountains, Our Lady of the Forest, The Other, Ed King, and Snow Falling on Cedars, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award; a story collection, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind; and Family Matters: Why Homeschooling Makes Sense. He has three forthcoming books: a memoir, Descent, from Vintage in 2013; a new story collection, Problems with People, from Knopf in 2014; and a book of poems, Songs for a Summons, from Lost Horse Press in 2014. He lives in Washington State.
 
Published September 12, 1994 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. 482 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Humor & Entertainment, History, War, Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Horror, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Snow Falling on Cedars
All: 13 | Positive: 12 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Above average
on May 20 2010

Guterson (The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind, 1989, etc.) has written a thoughtful, poetic first novel, a cleverly constructed courtroom drama with detailed, compelling characters...Packed with lovely moments and as compact as haiku--at the same time, a page-turner full of twists.

Read Full Review of Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Good
on Jan 08 2016

This is a luxurious book, whose finely detailed evocation of its small-town setting effectively draws the reader to consider its larger issues.

Read Full Review of Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Michael Harris on Oct 06 1994

David Guterson's haunting first novel works on at least two levels. It gives us a puzzle to solve--a whodunit complete with courtroom maneuvering and surprising turns of evidence--and at the same time it offers us a mystery, something altogether richer and deeper.

Read Full Review of Snow Falling on Cedars: A Novel | See more reviews from LA Times

Book Buzz

Good
Reviewed by Sarah Chain on Jan 22 2012

It was especially eye-opening to read Guterson’s take on the internment of the Japanese. Americans often choose to forget the horrors committed against these citizens, but told from the Japanese characters’ points of view, the story becomes one of confusion, suspicion and terror.

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Women's Inc.

Above average
Reviewed by Susan O'Keefe on Sep 03 2015

The book spans more than a decade with opening scenes taking place in the years leading up to World War II. As the book closes, the snow falls heavily on the cedar trees, yet there is a lightness in the air...Stories and scenarios from a dozen years or more flood the courtroom as one man’s life hangs in the balance.

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http://www.wausaudailyherald.com

Good
Reviewed by Paula Hase on Sep 20 2012

After my initial reservations, though, I found the book to be captivating: a tangled web of history, guilt and romance and a masterpiece for the contemporary reader...For a fictional glimpse into a disturbing but true part of American history, pick up Guterson's book "Snow Falling on Cedars."

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Teen Ink

Good
Reviewed by Bapalapa2, on Aug 29 2015

It is a multi-faceted story with enough variety so that manywill enjoy it. The combination of courtroom drama, mystery, romance and grippingwar story are all melded into one book...Snow Falling on Cedars is ahaunting tale that will fill you with suspense and enrich your mind.

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Brothers Judd

Below average
Reviewed by brothersjudd on Aug 23 2015

Everything in the book is predictable from the moment you read the dust jacket. The only interest remaining is the forlorn hope that you're wrong and there's some plot twist coming. ..It's not a bad book. It has some redeeming qualities...

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Jules' Book Reviews

Excellent
Reviewed by Jules on Sep 11 2011

I loved this book, from the very first page to the very last I was absorbed into the book, making it impossible to put down, this is definitely a book that will be on my top ten list of the year. The style of writing was beautiful, and the descriptions of the island were incredible, during the storm, which created an excellent backdrop...

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Reading for Sanity

Good
Reviewed by Kari on May 05 2010

...I find myself thinking about the island, the people, their trials, and wondering if, as they moved on with their lives, they were able to mend some wounds that seemed unable to heal. This is a mark of a good book in my eyes: one in which you wonder about the characters long after you've finished it.

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World's Strongest Librarian

Above average
Reviewed by Kosmo on Nov 12 2010

There’s a bit of something for everyone in Snow Falling on Cedars. Love story? Yeah, a few of those. A bitter family feud? Check. Tales of war? It’s in there. Race relations? Oh, yeah. Courtroom drama? Certainly.

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World's Strongest Librarian

Above average
Reviewed by Alexis Bonari on Sep 06 2010

Snow Falling On Cedars has a hypnotic quality. It’s set in an earlier era of American history, but the characters and concerns are eerily familiar...The crisp, complex writing style saves this book from being just another love story or murder plot, and renders it a modern classic.

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The Cyberlibrarian Reads

Good
Reviewed by MIRIAM DOWNEY on Feb 05 2010

...it is an excellent choice because it is rich and dense, with themes that will create a great deal of discussion. First of all, it is very well written. There are themes and subthemes, great speeches, and beautiful imagery, both in the setting and the details.

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Reader Rating for Snow Falling on Cedars
72%

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