In the months before the outbreak of the first world war, Anton Heideck arrives in Vienna. Family life offered him the prospect of a job in his father’s meat factory, but he goes to the big city to start a career as a writer. What he finds is Delphine. They fall in love, move into a flat, then a house in the countryside outside Vienna; but when war breaks out the fragility of their happiness is brutally exposed.
Snow Country moves from this doomed love to post-war Vienna, and to Lena, the daughter of an alcoholic part-time call girl. Lena eventually goes to Vienna, where she comes close to following her mother’s path, before finding work at a sanatorium near to where she grew up. Anton, back from the war and now a famous journalist, is working on a story about this clinic for the mentally afflicted.