Boy Snow Bird


After escaping New York City and her cruel father, a young woman named Boy Novak arrives in a small Massachusetts town in 1953.  There, she meets a widowed jeweler; when they marry, she becomes stepmother to his daughter, Snow.  But once her own daughter, Bird, is born, Boy becomes fiercely protective and finds herself transforming into a harsh stepmother.  

Boy Snow Bird is narrated in turn by all three women as they navigate the twists and turns of mid-century societal expectations and judgments.

"The best line of work for me would be roadside sprite.  I'd live quietly by a dust-covered track that people never came across unless they took a wrong turn, and I'd offer the baffled travelers lemonade and sandwiches, maybe even fix their engines if they asked nicely (I'd have used my solitude to read extensively on matters of car maintenance).  Then the travelers would go on their way, relaxed and refreshed, and they'd forget they'd ever met me.  That's the ideal meeting... once upon a time, only once, unexpectedly, then never again.”

Helen Oyeyemi is a British playwright and novelist.  Her works include The Icarus Girl, The Opposite House, Mr. Fox, and Boy Snow Bird. 

Published:  2014
Length:  304 pages
Set in:  Massachusetts, United States