Friday, March 07, 2014

2014 book 55

Helen Oyeyemi's Boy, Snow, Bird
I really liked Oyeyemi's first novel, but haven't really loved her other books (her recent Mr Fox got a ton of acclaim, but I just couldn't get into it). This one, however, totally worked for me. It's vaguely a reworking of the Snow White story--but don't think it's the usual fantasy book, because Oyeyemi doesn't work that way. Instead, it starts with teenager Boy Novak, who runs away from her abusive father in the 1950s and ends up in small-town Massachusetts, where she meets a man named Arturo--and his daughter Snow. Just when you think it's going to go one way, it turns into a really interesting meditation on race relations--and family life--in America. I hesitate to call this "accessible," because Oyeyemi's work is always slightly off the beaten path, but it's certainly the work of hers I find the most /readable/. Very engaging. A-/B+.

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