A somewhat estranged family agrees to meet up for a reunion for an odd reason — one of the Cunningham sons is being released from prison. What follows is a thriller with numerous clues, multiple suspects, and of course, a blizzard that traps everyone at the hotel. When everyone is a suspect and no one can escape, time is ticking to find out who the killer is, and what they want.
Rintaro is a rather shy high school student. He spends his free time working in his secondhand bookstore, which he has inherited after his grandfather died. One evening the bell over the door jingles and in walks a cat.
The town of Green Bank, West Virginia, is often presented as a signal-free quiet zone — no Wi-Fi, no cell phones, no radio. The 13,000 +/- square mile area was set aside as the United States National Radio Quiet Zone in 1958. It was chosen for its remote nature and relatively light signal traffic in order to have a clear patch to listen to the cosmos. But the reality of day-to-day life within the Quiet Zone is less clear-cut.
The roadtrip begins with a stop at Bea’s brother’s in Burgundy. Always the schlub of the family, he has been set up as the proprietor of a sagging bed-and-breakfast. In a constant state of (dis)repair, it would seem that Alex has spent more time pretending there have been guests than fixing the place up. The younger generation then prepares for a visit from the parents with dread.
Perhaps there was something about knowing the horrible crime had been committed, was already out in the real world, that he wasn’t inventing it, that allowed Nabokov to finally put his novel into a cohesive form.