Thursday, December 22, 2016

Book Review: "Boy, Snow, Bird" by Helen Oyeyemi

In 1953, young Boy Novak ran away from her home and abusive father, only to find herself in a tiny town in Massachusetts.  She ends up marrying a widower, Arturo Whitman, and becomes step-mother to his daughter Snow.  Boy gives birth to her daughter, Bird, and it becomes apparent that her husband and his family were actually African-Americans passing as white people.  This uncovered secrets sets forth everything else.  This take off from the tale of Snow White turns into a story looking at identity, race, and sexuality.

Look at that cover.  Isn't it gorgeous?  I am terrified of snakes, even illustrated ones... but I still love this cover.  That is probably the most positive thing I can say about my experience with this book.  So many many people love this book, and I really wanted to as well.  In fact, I was still fairly early into it and a friend asked my opinion, and I was very definitely trying to stay positive.  I think I said something like 'oh, the story seems to be coming together... getting more interesting' or something like that.  But it was all for naught.

I just couldn't follow a thread of story line.  As soon as I thought I was getting somewhere, it would change.  The narrator would change.  Something would happen out of the blue.  And I couldn't figure out why I was being told or shown certain things.  I kept thinking, 'oh this will be important later' and guess what?  Nope.  Not that I could really tell anyway.  This was a book that I would try and do anything besides pick it back up, and I would not have finished it if it were not my book group's pick for this month.  Now that is what I'm looking forward to - the group discussion.  I can't wait to see what the others thought about this, or see if they can help me understand it better.

*****
Boy, Snow, Bird
by Helen Oyeyemi
Riverhead Books, 2014
316 pages
Source:  Purchased New
*****

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2 comments:

Elizabeth Amos said...

Oh, this sounds like such an interesting storyline! Sorry it didn't work well for you. Isn't it just the worst when you feel like a story just HAS to be great and then...wah-wah.

Andi said...

You and I are TOTALLY on the same page with this one.

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