Snowflake (A Christmas Story)
By Francis Eugene Wood
Illustrated by Robert W. McDermott
Snowflake, Francis Wood's lastest book, is a special Christmas gift to readers everywhere, but especially to those in Farmville, Virginia, where the story unfolds.
It is 1985, the year of Farmville's unique Christmas snow, when Ed Perkins, an elderly widower with nothing to live for, sees from his hospital room a little girl dancing in the snow outside. Her display of pure joy captivates him. When he learns she is ill, he visits her room, bringing as a present a snow globe enclosing a pirouretting ballerina. The friendship between man and child forms the core of this tale of despair and faith. Snowflake creates a small, enchanted world as particular as a ballerina encased in glass.
Grace Simpson, poet, author of Dancing the Bones
With Snowflake, Francis Wood has once again found the magic in familiar people and places. Light a fire in the fireplace, listen to the wind chimes and use up a box of tissues as you read this little story of love and loss, peace and hope. Even if you've never set foot in Farmville, Virginia, you know these people, and you've been to these places...
Kathryn Orth, Farmville Bureau reporter, The Richmond Times-Dispatch
Francis Wood has once again written a wonderful Christmas Story. Snowflake relates a powerful message. It will be easily read in one sitting but sometimes through misty eyes. As in his other books, the author reveals his deep love of nature as evidenced by his exceptional skill with descriptive words. In this story, however, it is in his understanding of human nature that Francis Wood excels. I, too, anticipate the childhood excitement of a peaceful snowfall; and in the future when I catch a snowflake on my tongue, it will be a special reminder of this beautifully written story.
Jo D. Smith, author of A History of High Bridge
About the story:
Ed Perkins is lost. He is ill and lonely after the death of his wife, Leah. Nothing is right in his life and he sees no future until one day when he looks out of his hospital window and sees a young girl dancing in the snow. Her name is Sarah but Ed calls her Snowflake. She is a precious, vivacious little girl who loves classical music and aspires to be a ballerina. But Snowflake is also ill. Ed visits the girl and the two become friends. Through this little girl Ed Perkins finds himself again and regains his faith and zeal for life. And it all starts with a snowflake.
Note from the author:
Snowflake was a special story from the time I conceived of the idea until it was finished. I began writing this story while I was heavily into the editing of The Nipkins, Volume Two. This is not unusual for me as I sometimes work on several projects at a time. The interesting thing about Snowflake was the surprising turns it made from my original thoughts. I had wanted to write a story around the very unique Christmas snow which occurred in the Farmville area in 1985. I did not intend for certain well-known people to show up in the storyline or for it to take place at the local hospital. But sometimes stories write themselves. It was also very much inspired by the life and death of ten- year-old Jamie Hess, whose story I had followed in the paper for some time. Jamie died in 2002, and although I did not know him personally I was touched by what I had read about him. I have since come to know his family and with their permission dedicated this story to their son. Snowflake is a book about faith and love and the realization that each moment here is a gift.
The work of artist Robert W. McDermott has graced the covers and pages of several of my books. Bob first illustrated and provided a wonderful cover painting for The Fodder Milo Stories after I had seen a Christmas card he had drawn and sent to a mutual friend. I have been awed by the talents of this man and his contributions to my books, The Nipkins, Volumes One, Two and Three and Snowflake. His offerings have been instrumental in both the design and appeal of these books. Bob is a wonderful and talented man. He is also a kind and good friend.