Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi: ⭐⭐⭐ (3.5 stars)
All of Helen Oyeyemi’s works are on my radar now. Boy, Snow, Bird was a really pleasant surprise. I went into the story not knowing anything about the plot, and I’d recommend that. It is by no means a retelling of Snow White. There are some fairy tale elements though (which I’m a sucker for). It’s hard to talk about this novel and avoid spoilers. In brief, the story is set during the 1950s in racially segregated America. Boy Novak runs away from an abusive father in the beginning and finds herself in a town called Flax Hill, she builds a life for herself there and meets a man named Arturo Whitman. I loved Oyeymi’s writing style: it is whimsical, magical and explores themes like race and identity. I enjoyed the female characters and how they interact with each other. Pick this one up if you haven’t already!
Interesting article in The Guardian about the themes in Boy, Snow, Bird: http://tinyurl.com/y97bsy4j
Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler: ⭐⭐
One star for descriptions of food and how restaurants work.
Another star for guilty pleasure sex scenes and bad boy (welp, I forgot his name *quickly googles*) Jake the bartender.
That’s literally it. I did not enjoy this plotless drivel.
The Colour Purple by Alice Walker: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was such a wonderful read. I’ve wanted to get to The Colour Purple since forever. It tells the story of a Black woman called Celie during the 1930s, in a series of letters she writes to God and interspersed are some letters she receives from her sister Nettie. Celie is sexually abused by her father and, after the death of her mother, is sent away to marry a man to look after his children. She strikes up an unlikely bond and friendship with her daughter in law Sofia and her husbands ex-wife Shug.
A little later on, Celie and Shug are involved in a lesbian relationship. It was realistic, and I loved how Celie’s letters are filled with grammatical errors and spellings. Alice Walker has a way of writing: she made the story very believable and real. It’s a classic. I can’t recommend it enough! I plan on listening to the audiobook soon.