Today is World Book Day! To celebrate, I’ll tell you about the most recent book I finished.
Title: Boy, Snow, Bird
Author: Helen Oyeyemi
Boy, Snow, Bird offered me interesting, complicated characters. It provoked-thought and a little bit of soul-searching. It presented a lot of questions and provided almost no answers.
Boy is the daughter of the Rat Catcher, a hateful person who never speaks of Boy’s mother. Boy runs away from her home in New York City as soon as she is able and ends up in Flax Hill, Massachusetts. There, she finds work where she can, eventually settling at a bookstore and settling again for a widower named Arturo.
Snow is Arturo’s daughter. She is enchanting and beautiful and makes Boy unnerved.
Bird is the daughter of Boy and Arturo and her dark skin reveals the family secret.
The story is a little bit Snow White retelling, but very loosely. Too many family secrets and not enough reveals. A lot of closed doors were cracked, but not fully opened. I don’t mind books with unanswered questions, but the ending was too ambiguous for me.
I liked the way the story presenting the complications of passing as White in the 1950s. The sacrifices made and ethical dilemmas faced – by all parties. The characters were well-crafted and interesting. I would have liked to have continued reading about them and actually see their stories unfold. I feel like I only saw the beginning.
Arturo does make her a really rad snake bracelet/arm cuff that I’m dying to have.
Read this for the prose and for the characters, but don’t expect your questions to be answered.
My current reads and listens: