February 28, 2012

Snow in Summer

By Jane Yolen
Rating: 3 3/4 stars

If you like fairy tale retellings, you'll be interested in this version of Snow White.  Set in West Virginia, Summer lives with her grieving father and is mainly taken care of by her "cousin" Nancy, a close family friend.  Summer's dad is so consumed with his depression he barely notices her, until the day he meets a woman and is so besotted he quickly marries her.  Summer is eager to gain Stepmama's approval, despite her strange ways and potions and dark mirror.  But she also realizes her stepmother is cold and punishing, and that her father seems worse around her.  Stepmama, of course, is a witch, and and has evil plans for the little family she married into.  Summer doesn't know where to turn, until finally the witch makes her move and Summer has to escape her clutches--but how?  This is a very different retelling, featuring nods to religion, small towns and not a princess or prince in sight.  For some other great retellings of fairy tales check out Beauty by Robin McKinley or Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George.

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