Snowed In

( 1 )


No job. No heat. The wrong shoes. The wrong clothes. Discover if true love can be far behind.

Imagine having always lived in Washington, D.C., and suddenly being stuck in Portland, Maine, for a year. With the pipes freezing---inside the house. And a husband who seems to have his eye on a hiking-booted L.L.Bean femme fatale rather than you. Not to mention the mother-in-law from hell who never fails to let you know that you leave much to be ...

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Snowed In: A Novel

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No job. No heat. The wrong shoes. The wrong clothes. Discover if true love can be far behind.

Imagine having always lived in Washington, D.C., and suddenly being stuck in Portland, Maine, for a year. With the pipes freezing---inside the house. And a husband who seems to have his eye on a hiking-booted L.L.Bean femme fatale rather than you. Not to mention the mother-in-law from hell who never fails to let you know that you leave much to be desired.
That's Sophie Quinn's life. Lucky for Sophie (an unassertive type who's always favored daydreams over day planners), her new life is about to throw in her lap some weird and valuable opportunities to trample down her fears and transform her prospects for happiness. And true love just might come knocking on her door....

For any woman who has ever had to confront the landlord about the heat, for any woman who has ever longed for impractical shoes instead of sturdy winter boots, for any woman who has ever been in the wrong place at the right time, Snowed In will have you laughing, crying, and rooting for Sophie Quinn.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Three months after moving to Portland, Maine, for her husband Paul's job, Sophie begins worrying about her quiet life, her "safe" marriage and, particularly, Natalie, the snappy new assistant in her husband's office. Calls to her happily married sister, Delia, and her long-time friend, Marta, don't assuage her concerns, but Sophie, a freelance artist and proofreader with time on her hands, finds companionship by joining a local walking club. In a captivating tale, Bartolomeo (Cupid and Diana) combines Anne Tyler's brand of trenchant domestic observation with a comic flair all her own (Sophie's know-it-all mother-in-law, Pepper, is "good for twenty more years. She wasn't the sort who succumbed early to cancer or heart attacks-she was the sort who caused them in those around her"). Sophie finds a kindred spirit in Ned, another member of the walking group, who offers to give her driving lessons, and Bartolomeo delicately charts the course of their developing rapport amid Sophie's troubled marriage and Ned's long-distance relationship with a girlfriend. Bartolomeo offers rare insight into friendship and romance in this sweetly poignant page-turner, leaving readers rooting for Sophie, her newfound confidence and the future that awaits her around the next bend. Agent, Henry Dunow. (Nov.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"Courage is not my leading virtue. I've always avoided change of any sort, operating on the principle of safety first." So says Sophie Quinn in the opening paragraph of this delightful new work from the author of the popular Cupid and Diana, which is currently being made into a television movie. Sophie has followed her still new husband, Paul, to Portland, ME, while he pursues a new job opportunity. Portland is cold, and Sophie knows no one in town. Having no car and no outside job, she hibernates in their apartment while Paul becomes more and more involved with work and a suspiciously friendly colleague. A chance meeting with the organizer of a hiking club leads to open doors and new opportunities for Sophie, and she learns to create a life of her own. Not that it's easy, but "sometimes it's more terrible and more stupid to sit, paralyzed, as events slip past you." Sophie is a well-drawn character whose struggles and final triumph are beautifully captured. Highly recommended for public libraries.-Kathy Ingels Helmond, Indianapolis-Marion Cty. P.L. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Down East doldrums. Sophie Quinn knows she should be grateful for having a husband like Paul Stoddard, but she can't help thinking that he needs more care and feeding than she bargained for. And his bossy mother, Pepper, obviously doesn't think that Sophie is good enough for her perfect son. Sophie can't cook and doesn't like to shop. She hangs around in baggy, snuggly clothes; she's mousy-looking and too tall. No wonder Paul is smitten with his pretty young coworker Natalie, a petite brunette with big eyes who practically has take-me-big-boy imprinted on her schoolgirlish attire. Maybe Sophie shouldn't worry. Her friend Marta wearily advises her otherwise. Her assertive sister Delia thinks it's time to take steps. But Sophie is in a funk. Getting out of the house in Portland, Maine, in the dead of winter isn't a whole a lot of fun. Still, she joins a walking group and meets some pleasant people. They walk and talk. Aha! Paul is fooling around. Will the shock jolt Sophie out of her listless torpor? Maybe. Maybe not. Pepper stirs up trouble: she wants back that heirloom ring on Sophie's finger. But Sophie isn't giving it up-not just yet. Her first love, Rory, a globetrotting travel journalist, wanders into the plot. He's trapped in a troubled marriage to a wife who desperately wants a baby. He doesn't want children. Can Sophie trust him? Maybe. Maybe not. Should she sleep with him? Yes, but only for one night and with a double order of guilt to go. Then there's Ned, all-around great guy from the Portland walking tour. He seems genuinely nice. Still, Sophie decides to move to Boston. Will Ned follow? Will Sophie throw the heirloom ring into the Charles River and make Pepper really, reallymad?Tame soul-searching and earnest infidelities-never, alas, the most interesting kind. Bartolomeo has done better (The Side of the Angels, 2003, etc.). Agent: Henry Dunow/Dunow & Carlson Literary Agency
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312320898
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2005
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.85 (d)

Meet the Author

Christina Bartolomeo is the author of The Side of the Angels and Cupid and Diana, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and was adapted for a Hallmark Hall of Fame television movie. A native of Washington, D.C., Bartolomeo lives in the Boston area.

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Reading Group Guide

1. Is Paul a sympathetic character in any way? How would the novel be different if told from his perspective? Sophie tells her sister Delia on page that Natalie suits Paul "in every way better than I do." Is Paul the real villain of the piece, or simply a mixed-up guy who realizes that he has made a mistake fairly early in his marriage?
2. The book presents a "glamorous and super-competent" career woman figure (Sophie's friend Marta) and an "office schemer" -- the pert, and conniving Natalie. How are Natalie and Marta foils for Sophie and Sophie's approach to career and romance? How are Marta and Sophie's sister Delia foils for each other?
3. How does Sophie's search for a true vocation relate to her search for real love? Does Sophie's search for meaningful work propel her relationship with Ned, or vice versa?
4. Did you feel regret when Sophie turns down a second chance at love with Rory? Sophie says, "I could picture the night [with Rory], how good it would be. I just couldn't see farther....I could not picture SETTING OUT with Rory." What does Sophie mean by this observation? What do you think are Rory's true feelings for Sophie?
5. Pepper Stoddard is a classic figure of comedy: the difficult mother-in-law. Is Pepper believable, and could Sophie have handled her more adroitly for a different result? Do you foresee Natalie getting along with Pepper more amicably than Sophie has, or would Pepper be critical of ANY daughter-in-law?
6. At what point in the book does Ned realize his feelings for Sophie? Why doesn't Ned declare himself sooner?
7. Sophie's feelings about the city of Portland, Maine, change over the course of the book. At the end of the novel, what image of the city is the reader left with? Is the city meant to be portrayed as a true-to-life locale, or should it be seen by the reader as more of a reflection of Sophie's mental and emotional state?
8. How does Donald help Sophie take a stand for herself? Did you feel Donald grew and changed through the course of the novel or is it Sophie's reaction to Donald that changed?

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2005


    Sophie Quinn has been married to Paul for about a year. She has always lived in the D.C. area, but Paul's work transfers him to Portland, Maine, for a year. She can do her work anywhere. It is all via computer, so that is not a problem. ................... Sophie soon finds herself in a residence where the heat refuses to work, no vehicle to get around in, no friends close by, and Paul is seldom home. She joins a walking group just for a bit of exercise and some human company. This is where she meets Stephen and Ned. ................ Good thing Sophie now has some friends, because Paul's eyes are zooming in on a co-worker. Worse, Paul's holier-than-thou mother is coming to, once again, show Sophie how inferior she is. .................. *** I found this to be a good book, but nothing wonderful. It is realistic, but Sophie is just too shy and timid for me to believe. In the back of the book there is a page useful for Reading Groups. .................... The most impressive part, for me, is when the author mentions that the people who surf in the waters wear wetsuits for protection against the water's icy temperatures. Most people think that 'beach' equals 'warmth'. Not in places such as Maine and Alaska. Very good addition. ***

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2004

    Very Enjoyable

    I stumbled on 'Snowed In' at the library in the new release section, read the inside cover and thought it looked pretty good. I was not disappointed. The beginning was a bit slow, but after the first chapter or so, I couldn't put it down. It was obvious that Paul and Natalie were having an affair, but Bartolomeo keeps the reader in suspense as to when and how Sophie finds out. I was disappointed, though, that Paul and Natalie didn't get more of a 'come-uppance'. They did their cheating & lying, caused Sophie much pain and humiliation and then walked off into the sunset. Even though things do turn out well for Sophie, an Epilogue showing Paul & Natalie in a 'not so perfect' marriage (like they were so sure they were going to have), would have been the icing on the cake for Sophie -- a well earned treat for her. In fact, this is the only reason why I rate this four stars instead of five. I was very disappointed at how Bartolomeo let those two off so easily after what they had done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2004

    Snowed In: A Novel

    Three months ago freelance artist Sophie accompanied her husband Paul when his job caused him to relocate from Washington DC to Portland, Maine. After the hustle and bustle of the big city with the Metro to get around, the unlicensed Sophie finds the solitude disturbing. With so much time on her hands to brood and no place to go, Sophie worries that her spouse¿s new assistant bubbly yet effective Natalie seems to get more of Paul¿s attention and admiration than his wife receives from him.................................... Depressed, Sophie several times calls her sister and her best friend, but neither lifts her from her doldrums while her mother-in-law Pepper adds spice to Sophie¿s already churning stomach. Desperate to get her mind off of her concerns Sophie joins a local walking club where she meets Ned who struggles with his own going nowhere relationship with a geographically distant girlfriend........................ This engaging character study looks at how a geographical change can impact relationships. Sophie goes from having no time to complete anything to having too much time causing her to brood and fret. The story line fully focuses on Sophie who holds the tale together while the rest of the cast predominantly relate to her. Her relationship with Pepper is a classic; while that with her spouse has deteriorated rather quickly as she feels he has moved on to being a rugged New Englander with a captivating snowbird assistant while she is turning into a boring SNOWED IN transplant failure. Fans of deep family dramas will appreciate the wry humorous asides inside the serious subject of the impact of relocating on marriage....................... Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Snowed In: A Novel

    At Hughes Community College in Texas, President Fieldstone is upset with English Literature Professor Sally Good because the instructor¿s deceased husband happened to be related to the Salem witch Sarah Good, declared a witch over four hundred years ago. However, with the assault on the Potter books and a bond referendum on the ballot box pertaining to the college, Fieldstone worries that the nebulous link will reflect badly on the school in the eyes of its conservative donors and voters............................... Irritated over the absurdity of the situation, Sally next learns from Jack Neville that former English Professor Harold ¿The Garden Gnome¿ Curtin was murdered. Sally as the English chair forced Harold to leave because he treated students like ¿ants in his domain¿. Sally also finds out that the Internet, home of misinformation, has informed local voters that Professor Sally Good is Witch Sarah Good using her powers of evil to probably kill the Gnome. To avoid burning at the stake by Fieldstone, Sally must uncover who killed the disliked professor............................. At first brush, readers will think along the lines of Sally that the hoopla over her indirect link to a four century dead in-law is ridiculous. However, Bill Crider lampoons the misinformation and disinformation that flows as freely as information on the Internet into a solid rumor spreading mechanism that paints quite a picture. The heroine realizes she must clear her name by finding the culprit; she may not be dealing with dark forces, but this is worse as she struggles with the Internet and Fieldstone. Mr. Crider provides a terrific academic amateur sleuth that satirizes the Internet at a time when the presidential race depends on disinformation................................ Harriet Klausner

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