Monday, April 9, 2012

Snow in Summer

By Jane Yolen

With her black hair, red lips, and lily-white skin, Summer is as beautiful as her father’s garden. And her life in the mountains of West Virginia seems like a fairy tale; her parents sing and dance with her, cousin Nancy dotes on her, and she is about to get a new baby brother.

But when the baby dies soon after he’s born taking Summer’s mama with him, Summer’s fairy-tale life turns grim. Things get even worse when her father marries a woman who brings poisons and a magical mirror into Summer’s world. Stepmama puts up a pretty face, but Sumer suspects she’s up to no good. Is Summer powerless to stop her?

Snow white meets post World-War II West Virginia…interesting and slightly creepy. You know how Snow White’s step-mother is an evil magical queen? Well, she’s a voodoo creeper black magician in this tale. That sort of stuff gives me the willies. Another thing that gave me the creeps was the way they talked about a girl’s first cycle and all the evil magic you can perform with it. Yuck. Double creeper. Other than these two things, the story was all right and done well for a modern retelling. My favorite part was the dwarves, who happened to be miners from Germany. That was really sweet and cute. Overall though, just for the content of the menstrual cycle stuff and the black magic, I’d not recommend it; just too much.

2 ½ out of 5

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