More of a delightful fairytale than a novel, Pierre Szalowski’s Fish Change Direction in Cold Weather (or FCDICW from here on out – it’s bit of a mouthful!) delivered a real feel good factor.
I recently wrote about my bad habits when it came to judging a book by its cover (the link to this article is here), and I have to admit that this was one such case. So when I opened the book and started to read I was crossing my fingers that it would live up to expectations. I have to say, it didn’t disappoint.
FCDICW focuses on a group of neighbours in a street in Montreal whose lives and relationships are changed irrevocably after a freak ice storm forces them together in more ways than one. I won’t say any more for fear of giving away spoilers, but from the very first page it’s obvious that this book is going to be one with a happy ending.
At just under 250 pages, it’s a relatively quick read and the characters admittedly aren’t developed in too much depth. However, for me, this really added to the general feeling created by the book that I was observing the characters from a distance or peeking in on their lives through an icy window. This emotional distance from the central protagonists (we never even find out the name of the narrator) works well with the structure and tone of the book, however, it meant for me that FCDICW probably won’t make it into my list of all-time greats.
Despite this, I did really enjoy reading it. I’ll be keeping it on my bookshelf to lend to others if they need a quick pick me up, and I think it’s probably one I’ll re-read again in the future. It’s a perfect choice for cold, dark winter nights when you want to feel cosy and comforted, inside and out!