October 28, 2021

What does the extreme weather add to the narrative?

Could the weather be a metaphor about grief?
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I actually hadn’t thought about the weather being a component to the story other than it was the catalyst for their being ‘stranded’ in a way. But I can see it, the dread that a blizzard can bring to the scenario they’re in.


The weather helps create the tension that is found in the car. Not only are they worried about who is stealing their belongings, but they are also concerned about the weather and surviving the storm.

Suzanne Rogers

The weather enforced the intimacy of the situation alternating between trust and distrust of strangers while balancing grief of personal situations slowly being revealed.


The weather binds the characters all together. It is what forces them all together to begin with, and keeps then together throughout the trip because they really have no other alternatives.

Lisa P

The weather was the only thing really keeping the story together. There was no story without the terrible weather. They would have stopped somewhere along the way for sure without this one object forcing them to stay together.

Shafia Khanum

It makes it scary but also adds an uncertainty … will they survive it? will they have an accident?
I feel like in some ways, it also reflects their inner turmoil and fear.


Yes, because it is cold and dark, and adds fear of the unknown just as grief does.


The weather added tension to the already tense situation with constant mistrust.


The weather conditions set up the story and , while I see they could be characterization, they serve to create danger and add convenient twists to the difficult travel.

Ellie N

I once got caught in a sudden snow storm in the States and a fifteen minute journey took five hours to get home. My friend who was driving was a gibbering wreck by the time we got back to their house. I certainly thought that the novel captured the danger and fear of having to keep changing direction to try and avoid accidents and becoming trapped. Grief is also something difficult to navigate through and when I thought the story might be a drug induced nightmare wondered if grief was what she was trying to escape from. The novel doesn’t… Read more »


I felt the weather added to the suspense of the book. The author was pretty vivid in her description of the storm and turmoil around them.


The weather definitely added to the terror of the story. I’m not feeling the metaphor connection though.


I think the weather added a sense of fear which could be applied to the underlying theme of grief. Grief and fear can overwhelm you at times making you second guess yourself and your ability to see things objectively.


The weather added to the suspense and sense of danger throughout the story. If there hadn’t been the blizzards, the people never would have gotten as scared or cautious.


The weather created a sense of fear. I’ve experienced many bad blizzards where the road disappears as you are driving a snow banks become traps. I’ve even driven an suv in those. They are scary and disorienting which the author really gets across. The weather adds lots of anxiety and truth to the feelings of being trapped. Wrapped in the car and in the world without a clear way forward.
without the drama of the blizzard the story wouldn’t be the same.


I have lived in upstate NY for ten years.
The story brought back memories which I enjoyed.
Certainly the cold and endurance can be intense and adds to the overall drama of the story.
The end was anticlimactic and the painting of Josh as the villain seemed unrealistic.
Some more clues could have been given as the story progressed.


The weather is actually another character throughout the story. It played its part in the narrative.


I agree that the weather added so much depth to the narrative of this book. Without there being a background element of constant suspense the book wouldn’t have been as interesting as it was


I think the blizzard definitely added to the story, it wouldn’t have been the same experience without it. There wouldn’t be as much suspense built, as well. I think the blizzard was a very important part of the story


I think the blizzard definitely added to the story, it wouldn’t have been the same experience without it. There wouldn’t be as much suspense built, as well. I think the blizzard was a very important part of the story

Cheryl Malheim

It is just another obstacle to fight through. I felt it was one of those days where everything that could go wrong does


The snowstorm created the sense of urgency and isolation that was needed for the story to continue on its show path to a resolution,


The plot needed the blizzard, and this would have been an ordinary road trip without it. I thought the book could have benefited from editing. It just felt too long.


I totally agree with the editing suggestion. It did go on and on about the blizzard and used it to create suspense and make different characters look suspicious.


The weather definitely made an impact on the plot. There would have been no sense of urgency or danger without it


Too much about weather. Poor decisions


The weather was so isolating, really driving home the fact that they were desperately alone.


Definitely the blizzard played a huge role. It was actually the main character in the story with the deep darkness filling every open space. Grief does that. It fills you up with darkness and sucks the air out of the room so you can’t breathe or see, you are surrounded.


I felt the snow added an element of panic to the story. It was a often recurring theme that started to get slightly more boring as the story went by.


The weather was almost a 6th character here. It drove the plot and the direction of the characters both pushing them forward and driving them back. I liked that it was a force they couldn’t control and had to outwit driving up the stakes.
I didn’t see the weather as grief- I saw her change of painting and lack of color as grief- the weather I saw as an element teaching the main character being in control isn’t always possible and yet, still survivable.


I like the idea that the weather is a metaphor about grief. The weather made the characters stuck, lost, and alone which is also what grief can do to you.


The brutal weather made it much more life-threatening! It is one thing to try to get along with strangers but warring against that blizzard was almost impossible!


The weather kept them dependent on each other.

Myra Walters

I think the weather conditions increase our anxiety and helps to build suspense. I am always a bit tense when traveling during inclement weather. I try to avoid these situations but sometimes they may be unavoidable. Wanting to be with their families on Christmas day probably clouded the judgement of these high school and college age kids and caused them to agree to rent a car and drive home. Each time their car skidded and they almost ran off the road or crashed into other vehicles, my heart skipped a beat.

Allison Goodyear

I could see myself in that storm. I live in the Midwest and have had a few nightmare blizzard drives. Metaphor for grief? That didn’t occur to me but good thought.


I kept thinking, why wouldn’t they just shoot across 76? Haha


There had to be an extreme external situation to create the setting for tension. Could have been a hurricane, earthquake, or …snow! So while The author chose snow, that clearly worked with the stress of travelers anxious to return home.

M. T.

I feel like it was just a plot device to forward the story. It could have been an amazing participant to the story, but I just think it could’ve been done better. (Not that I could do better)


I think the snowstorm was an extra character that added to the confusion and danger. The weather needed to be bad to keep all of them together.


I never thought about it adding to the grief but also guilt


I think the extreme weather added to the isolation and created the situation where they were stuck together and couldn’t just leave when the gut instinct said “danger”. Without the extreme weather, it would have been a lot more likely that Mira would have just been let out somewhere and just waited for her parent(s) to come get her.

Tara Robison

I am loving the weather in the book. I was born and raised in PA, and I know those roads and ice and snowstorms!

Elodie Rosenbloon

I love almost every single part of this book and weather kind of made it come together!

Em Glover

I loved the incorporation of the extreme weather, while it did become a bit of a reoccurring issue, the ending brought it all together. However I don’t think the weather was a metaphor for grief. It seemed to be more a representation of the confusion and danger Mira was In throughout this book. Overall this was a joy to read! I couldn’t put it down!


Isolation, unpredictability, impending doom.

Last edited 2 years ago by JoIdajo

It creates a setting in which this cottage house style mystery is forced into even greater confines, heightening the tension, and giving Mira a chilly feeling long before she knows what’s going on.


The feeling of seclusion and isolation she was also feeling apart from her mother


Nothing. It just slows the story. Boring.