‘The Snow Angel’ by Lauren St John: a novel for young adults illustrated by Catherine Hyde
Lauren St John grew up surrounded by horses and wild animals on a farm in Zimbabwe. An Ambassador for the Born Free Foundation, she is a passionate conservationist.
‘Growing up in vibrant, crowded Nairobi, Makena has only one dream: to climb Mount Kenya like her hero, her mountain guide father. But when her beautiful world is shattered, she finds that in the city’s dark places there are a thousand ways to fall, each more deadly than any crevasse. In a world of strangers, does she dare trust Snow, whose ballet dreams are haunted by a past she’s still running from? And is the sparkling fox friend or foe?
After a fresh start in the Scottish Highlands turns bad, Makena flees to the mountains. But will they betray her or be the making of her?’
It has been a real joy to work on this book – Head of Zeus and Lauren were keen for me to paint the jacket and interiors as interpretatively as I would one of my own paintings and it was really good to be given that kind of freedom. Different elements like the shape and warmth of Mount Kenya and the appearance of the bat eared fox on the back were refined with input from Lauren and Jessie Price until the whole thing worked – and I really think it does.
As for the story, I won’t give anything away apart from the fact that I cried when I finished it and believe that everyone should read it. Although the heroines journey is a tough one filled with dark and light there is a potent sense of connection with the vastness of Nature and the power of humanity’s hope, endurance and most of all, love to overcome adversity.
Prints of the jacket cover are also available.