Snow Summer

Massive climate change has caused a winter that will not thaw, and it seems that the forces of nature have turned on humanity itself. But in the sleepy British village of Pateley Bridge, one special girl may hold the key to the earth’s survival.

Wyn, an orphan, has always known that she is different. Unable to feel the biting cold of wind and snow of Pateley’s endless winter, she does what she can to blend in. But when mysterious figures start to appear in the village, insisting that she may have the power to restore order to the natural world, Wyn must look deep inside herself to face the secrets of her past that she has kept hidden even from herself.

Snow Summer is my first novel, aimed at readers from 11 upwards. It is published in the US, Canada, Italy and Germany. Locally in the Yorkshire Dales it is on sale at The Little Ripon Bookshop and the bookshop at RHS Harlow Carr.


The Yorkshire Post:
It is a beautifully lyrical, literary novel that incorporates folklore, myth and fantasy, as well as close observation of flora and fauna. The local landscape plays a big part in the story and Peel’s own affection for it shines through in the writing. Apart from anything else, though, it is a cracking adventure which also weaves in perennial teenage preoccupations – feelings of difference, rebellion, frustration – and a touching romance.

Kirkus (starred review):
In a world that’s always winter, a young girl discovers what she really is.
Wyn, a prickly, unsociable girl, is plagued by odd abilities that she keeps secret—fire doesn’t burn her, cold doesn’t affect her, and her eyesight is extraordinary. Her only friend is Kate, daughter of the minister and his wife, who have brought Wyn into their family after the death of Mrs. March, Wyn’s beloved first foster mother. But things are out of balance in the all-white English countryside where Wyn lives. It’s nearly the last day of summer, and the landscape is still covered in ice and snow. Then Tawhir, a mysterious boy, appears, and Wyn is almost overpoweringly attracted to him even as she feels a deep unease. Gradually, unwillingly, Wyn uncovers both what is causing the odd weather and her long-ago connection with Tawhir. Peel writes with a deeply felt sense of setting and with just the right touch of restraint to allow his characters to reveal themselves fully. Nature spirits and dragons are introduced but without hoopla and as a seamless and essential part of the entirely logical plot. Thoroughly realized characters, a story that combines high fantasy with the pagan world of nature spirits, settings that amplify and uphold the natural-world underpinnings of the plot, and plenty of tension characterize this refreshing read.
A must. (Fantasy. 12-14)