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In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman.

A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as lightskinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.

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Boy, Snow, Bird
Average rating
3 / 5
1 person found this helpful
Beautiful, thoughtful retelling of Snow White
November 13th, 2014
I loved Oyeyemi's retelling of the Snow White fairy tale as a race- and gender-centred family drama in 1950's America. With a sharp critique of racism and stereotypes, along with beautiful writing, strong characters, and an airtight plot, Boy Snow Bird has been the best book I read this year.
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1 review
3 of 3 people found this helpful
Boy Snow Bird
April 18th, 2014
Out of a book club group of 12 only 2 readers liked it and it was lukewarm like. As a group we had difficulty with the characters and their motivation. We did not feel the story required the complexity that the author created. The story could have been much more powerful without the maze that the reader has to maneuver through. Sorry not worth the money or investment in time.
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1 review

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