Title: Boy, Snow, Bird
Author: Helen Oyeyemi
Publisher: Riverhead Books, March 2014
Summary/Review: A loose retelling of the story of Snow White, Boy, Snow, Bird deals with the issues of jealousy, race, family, and identity. Set in Massachusetts during the pre-civil rights era, Boy Novak Whitman is surprised when her newborn daughter, Bird, is born with dark skin. Unbeknownst to Boy, her husband Arturo and stepdaughter Snow, as well as most of his family, are African Americans passing for white. Aware of society’s, and her in laws’, idea of beauty leads to Boy’s jealousy and resentment of light skinned Snow and an evil stepmother is born.
Told through the voices of more than one of the complex characters in this novel, Boy, Snow, Bird is a great choice for book groups and anyone who likes multilayered fiction. You won’t be bombarded with parallels to Snow White’s story, but you will catch a glimpse of her from time to time.
Who will like this book? Someone who enjoys loose retellings of fairy tales. Someone who is looking for a book that will leave them thinking about it.
If you like this, try this: If you enjoyed the fairy tale retelling, try The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. These stories are more popular in young adult and children’s, including the Grimm trilogy by Adam Gidwitz, multiple series by Shannon Hale, and more.
Recommended by: Sue B, Circulation Coordinator
If you think you’d like to read this book, visit the Fairfield Public Library catalog to see if it’s available and/or to place a hold!