We left off at the point where Boy, now married, gave birth to a baby girl named Bird who exposes that Boy’s husband and family are Blacks passing for Whites. Boy sends her stepdaughter, Snow, to live with Snow’s aunt and uncle. Part two of Helen Oyeyemi’s fairy tale masterpiece is where the surreal elements begin to emerge. Bird is now thirteen years old and our narrator for this section, her tale being interspersed with letters from her estranged sister Snow, now twenty-one.
I cannot imagine what my childhood would have been like without the fairytales I grew up with. It didn’t matter what form they came in: Disney movies, colorful picture books, whispers in the dark as I curled up on my grandmother’s lap. They shaped me to imagine, to fear, to love, to hope, to learn. My first recollection of a fairytale was that of Snow White. To be perfectly honest, if you had asked me then or now, it wasn’t my absolute favorite. A bold, modernist, captivating version written (and soon to be published) by Helen Oyeyemi, entitled Boy, Snow, Bird, has forced me to view this old Grimm’s tale in a whole new light.
This is my first foray into Helen Oyeyemi’s writing and, so far, it lives up to the hype. She’s got the magic and it’s evident with every turn of the page. Please note that I’ve decided to take a new tactic with this review. Boy, Snow, Bird is divided into three parts and, since I have limited pleasure-reading time nowadays, I plan on writing three posts to coincide with them as I keep reading.