Author: Mary Casanova
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Pages: Hardcover; 264
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Nothing of note
HDB Rating: 4 Keys to My Heart
Recommended to: Readers who enjoy Historical Fiction with vivid characters and story line.
Add it: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
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. -- More at Goodreads
The synopsis pretty much says it all, but Frozen is a gorgeously written historical fiction novel. One that quickly drew me in and kept me immersed. It takes a lot for me to really get into historical fiction normally. I'm the girl who adores quick moving plots and witty heroines. However Mary Casanova's story drew me in for much different reasons, and it was utterly refreshing.
Sadie Rose is quite the protagonist. My favorite part about her was her spirit. When the book starts, Sadie Rose is just finding her voice. This sets in motion a series of events that lead her towards finding out who she truly is. What the reader finds is a girl who has been stifled in her growth. Missing part of her past, and constantly being told what her future will be, Sadie Rose feels like her life is going nowhere. I loved watching her grow into her own, slowly discovering how to be independent. She is a pretty brave girl, especially in the 1920's!
That being said, the rich setting of this book is also one of the reasons that I enjoyed it so much. To Sadie Rose, Rainy Lake is a small and pretty drab town. However to me, the reader, it was a place of possibility. It was fascinating to see people going about their daily lives in this time period. The divide between rich and poor. The political issues of the day. This isn't just a story about a girl finding herself, it's also an opportunity to see the beginning of a great era.
My one qualm with this book, and honestly it's a small one, is that it is rather slow at parts. The mystery surrounding Rainy Lake and Sadie Rose's past keeps things flowing pretty well. However there were points where the descriptions were a bit lengthy, and slowed things down. It didn't hamper my overall enjoyment of the story however. Those who read historical fiction often will know that descriptive writing is part and parcel to the genre.
I sincerely enjoyed Frozen as a whole, and am very glad that I took the time to read it! As I said, this isn't usually my genre of choice. That's what I'm all the more ecstatic to be able to say that I truly enjoyed this book. If you are a fan of historical fiction, give Frozen a place on your reading list.
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. I was not monetarily compensated for my opinion.