Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Boy Snow BirdThis is a story of three girls: the first, whom we meet running away from home, ends up with a stepdaughter, the second girl of the story, and then with a daughter of her own, the third girl.

The story spans the 1950s and 1960s in  a small town in Massachusetts. A general feeling of latent spookiness runs through the novel. Not so much as to make you sceptical, but enough to keep you wondering. There are also questions about the meaning of racial identity and second relationships that involve stepchildren. We get right into the mindset of two of them: the mother and her daughter; the stepdaughter remains more unfathomable throughout the book, and this is probably key to the whole story.

It reads very easily: the writing is so fluid that attention is as effortlessly directed to small quirks of character and details of daily life as to fundamental questions on the meaning of life, love, the universe.

And then, right at the end of the book, there is the-revelation-that-explains-it-all. I really didn’t see it coming, what a twist in the tale! I had really enjoyed it reading the book anyway and that added element of surprise was the cherry on the cake of a great story, beautifully told.

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