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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Frozen, by Mary Casanova

Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn't said a word in eleven years-ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.

Set during the roaring 1920s in the beautiful, wild area on Rainy Lake where Minnesota meets Canada, Frozen tells the remarkable story of Sadie Rose, whose mother died under strange circumstances the same night that Sadie Rose was found, unable to speak, in a snowbank. Sadie Rose doesn't know her last name and has only fleeting memories of her mother-and the conflicting knowledge that her mother had worked in a brothel. Taken in as a foster child by a corrupt senator, Sadie Rose spends every summer along the shores of Rainy Lake, where her silence is both a prison and a sanctuary.

One day, Sadie Rose stumbles on a half dozen faded, scandalous photographs-pictures, she realizes, of her mother. They release a flood of puzzling memories, and these wisps of the past send her at last into the heart of her own life's great mystery: who was her mother, and how did she die? Why did her mother work in a brothel-did she have a choice? What really happened that night when a five-year-old girl was found shivering in a snowbank, her voice and identity abruptly shattered?

So very much not what I've been reading and reviewing lately (it's not in the least paranormal or sci-fi!), but I've absolutely adored Sadie Rose and her story in Frozen. She is the perfect example of a multi-faceted character and exceedingly well-developed character.

Starting as shy and timid, a personality largely created by her childhood as a mute (psychologically, not physically), Sadie blossoms into a very strong and independent young woman. I loved how so much of the story took place in Sadie's mind--so much of what moved the story line forward was her own observations and thoughts about what she was hearing, seeing, learning.

Frozen left me thinking. The story stuck with me and has continued to be on my mind several days later. Highly recommended for anyone who loves historical fiction, but also for anyone who loves a well-crafted coming of age story.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this ebook galley from University of Minnesota Press through the netGalley publisher/reader connection program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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