By Andrea Thalasinos
Forge, $23.99, 364 pages
An Echo Through the Snow attempts to weave past and present using the lives of two women trapped by their families. One is determined to set herself free, and the other is bullied into pursuing a better life. These two women, though they lived decades apart, are linked by the Siberian Huskies, or Guardians, they both love and train. Set in 1990’s Wisconsin, this novel is about a young woman whose life is at a dead end. Rosalie MacKenzie is a twenty-something going nowhere with no money, no job, and no interests except of that in her dog, Smokey. Through the kindness of strangers, Rosalie soon has a job training dogs for sledding competitions.
The story of Jeaantaa, a Chukchi, and her Guardian dogs tells the story of her native people. In 1929, the Stalinist Russians overtake their Chukchi villages; the people are killed, and taken to labor camps. Rosalie and Jeaantaa live in very different times, only linked through their love of the dogs. This heartwarming contrast between the two women combined with their love of the Guardians creates a rich and fascinating story.
Reviewed By Liz Friedman