Boy, Snow, Bird: Mirror Reflections

Admittedly, it was the cover of this book that got me. Reading the synopsis, I wasn’t too sure it was up my alley–the story of a young woman’s experience in a new blended family–but the cover kept me coming back to it. It’s interesting because this book is so focused on appearances and how they shape our attitudes, opinions, and relationships. In the end, the appearance of this book was not misleading; it did reflect the story inside. This is my review.

Boy, Snow, Bird

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book is about mirrors: what they contain and what they can’t. The truths revealed in their surfaces, the distortions, the things that aren’t there at all. Mirrors reflect the light but can’t hold it against the dark.

I was trapped between the pages of this stunning, beautifully-written tale as though between two opposing mirrors reflecting infinity. The dynamic of multiple generations and multiple ancestries within a single family is explored with candour and compassion. The characters are witty and expressive, carefully built throughout the prose so we seem to get to know them naturally, our acquaintance with them growing.

The imagination and whimsy the story is told with, and the smooth leaps forward in time, ensured I was never bored or bogged down in unnecessary scenes or details. If anything, a touch more specificity or detail on some of the significant imagery could be added without the author needing to be afraid of it dragging.

I have one complaint: it ended. And how it ended is so open and incomplete. I didn’t get the resolution I was hoping for. I want the story to keep going: it feels as though it should. I would not be adverse to a sequel, in fact, I would relish it!

View all my reviews

Since writing this review, I’ve read others that were not so favourable due to the marketing choices on the part of the publisher. Apparently, some people came into the story with the understanding that it was a Snow White retelling and then were vastly disappointed when it was not. I didn’t have that expectation coming into it, and so was not left hanging when the story did not turn out that way. There were also some criticisms along the lines of how the story concluded, which I have to say I shared to certain extent. But overall it’s very well crafted and well worth a read!

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