Title: The Snow Song
Author: Sally Gardner
Genre: Fantasy, fiction
Publication Date: 18th February 2021
My Rating: 3/5
Women imprisoned by superstition, chained by guilt.
Perched on a mountain in a land of ancient forests is a village, rife with secrets. Cut off from the outside world it is run by the elders, men to whom tradition is all.
Edith lives alone with her alcoholic father who is forcing her to marry the village butcher. But she is in love with a shepherd who promised to return to her.
As the village becomes isolated in a sea of snow, Edith loses her power of speech. And it is this enchantment that will have far-reaching consequences, not only for Edith but for the whole village.
The story is a step back in time into a fairytale style world to a small village at the bottom of a mountain. The village elders lead by example and traditions are superstitions are believed and followed.
Edith lives with her domineering alcoholic father, who doesn’t seem to care much about anything other than where his next drink is. When Edith falls in love with a shepherd, she has never felt so happy. The village does not approve of the couple, and her father wants her to marry the village butcher. Edith couldn’t think of anything worse.
This was painful to read at times and I truly felt sorry for Edith’s plight. The butcher was a domineering, cruel and pompous man who had everyone in the village living in fear of his wrath. The author definitely made him a true villain in every way and I was rooting for his downfall throughout.
Edith was definitely the antithesis of the butcher’s cruel character. It was interesting to read about a character who selected to be mute. The characters responded to her differently and opened up far more to her, as they felt their secrets/stories were in safe hands.
This was a magical read and a very different one from anything I have ever read before!
About the author
Sally Gardner grew up and still lives in London. Being dyslexic, she did not learn to read or write until she was fourteen and had been thrown out of several schools, labelled unteachable, and sent to a school for maladjusted children. Despite this, she gained a degree with the highest honours at a leading London art college, followed by a scholarship to a theatre school, and then went on to become a very successful costume designer, working on some notable productions.
After the births of twin daughters and a son, she started first to illustrate and then to write picture books and chapter books, usually with fairytale- or otherwise magical subject matter. She has been called ‘an idiosyncratic genius’ by London’s Sunday Times.
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