Sunday, September 2, 2012

Frozen - Mary Casanova

Synopsis: 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?Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again. (From Goodreads)

I grew up reading Mary Casanova's books. So I was excited when I heard she was coming out with her first young adult novel. This is the Mary Casanova I remember, so it felt a little bit like nostalgia, but it also felt like she was doing something different here. But mostly, this book is going to be different from what you've read before, if only because of the time and location.

1920's Minnesota? Yes, please! I'm fairly familiar with Minnesota history, but I've never considered what was going on around here in the 20's. And I love everything about the 20's. So when someone put those two things together, I was so thrilled. The political state is touched on, but it's more fascinating to see the way the state is in transition during this time. Sadie Rose is also the perfect character to highlight the social changes occurring during this time.

Sadie comes from a bit of a seedy background. All she knows is that her mother was a prostitute. Sadie Rose was found in a snowbank the night her mother died, and the senator and his wife took her in. She finds some pictures of her mother and then sets out to become her own, self-sufficient woman, while finding out the truth about her mother. She unearths some political scandals, exposes the darker side of Northern Minnesota, and in doing so she discovers her own power.

The only thing that had me worried was Sadie's inability to speak. She hasn't spoken since she was found in the snow, but early in the book she finds her voice. I was skeptical about how she would learn to speak again, but that turned out to be a powerful part of the book. She didn't just figure out how to communicate again, but she managed to come to a place where she could speak her opinions and demand to be treated with respect. Women's rights are a subtle, but strong, part of Sadie Rose's story and that her empowerment through her voice is what makes this story still extremely relevant today.

Ladies - you have a voice - if you feel you are mistreated or overlooked, use it! Don't take that power for granted.

So yeah, I'm thrilled with Mary Casanova's new book. If you haven't read any of Casanova's work - I highly recommend her, and Frozen is a great place to start!

1 comment:

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Frozen - Mary Casanova

Synopsis: 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?Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again. (From Goodreads)

I grew up reading Mary Casanova's books. So I was excited when I heard she was coming out with her first young adult novel. This is the Mary Casanova I remember, so it felt a little bit like nostalgia, but it also felt like she was doing something different here. But mostly, this book is going to be different from what you've read before, if only because of the time and location.

1920's Minnesota? Yes, please! I'm fairly familiar with Minnesota history, but I've never considered what was going on around here in the 20's. And I love everything about the 20's. So when someone put those two things together, I was so thrilled. The political state is touched on, but it's more fascinating to see the way the state is in transition during this time. Sadie Rose is also the perfect character to highlight the social changes occurring during this time.

Sadie comes from a bit of a seedy background. All she knows is that her mother was a prostitute. Sadie Rose was found in a snowbank the night her mother died, and the senator and his wife took her in. She finds some pictures of her mother and then sets out to become her own, self-sufficient woman, while finding out the truth about her mother. She unearths some political scandals, exposes the darker side of Northern Minnesota, and in doing so she discovers her own power.

The only thing that had me worried was Sadie's inability to speak. She hasn't spoken since she was found in the snow, but early in the book she finds her voice. I was skeptical about how she would learn to speak again, but that turned out to be a powerful part of the book. She didn't just figure out how to communicate again, but she managed to come to a place where she could speak her opinions and demand to be treated with respect. Women's rights are a subtle, but strong, part of Sadie Rose's story and that her empowerment through her voice is what makes this story still extremely relevant today.

Ladies - you have a voice - if you feel you are mistreated or overlooked, use it! Don't take that power for granted.

So yeah, I'm thrilled with Mary Casanova's new book. If you haven't read any of Casanova's work - I highly recommend her, and Frozen is a great place to start!

1 comment: