Frozen by Mary Casanova
- Method of Obtaining: I received my copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
- Published by: Univ. of Minnesota Press
- Release Date: 9/1/2012
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.
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.
- The title and synopsis caught my eye.
It’s interesting, but as I was reading Frozen I kept thinking how similar in style this book was (with a few minor differences) to an American Girls book I’d read recently. Then.. in the back of the book as I finished it up, I noticed that Mary Casanova is responsible for McKenna of the American Girls. Hah!
In Frozen, Sadie Rose is introduced as a teenager who is simply unable to speak, due to a traumatic event in her past. She is an orphan, her father’s death ruled a suicide, and her mother found frozen in the forest near Ranier, Minnesota. Taken in by the Worthington’s, she remains with them as Mr. Worthington goes from Mayor of Ranier to a government political position. But a stack of photographs challenges Sadie Rose and pushes her from being the quiet, obedient charge into a girl who needs answers.
So here’s what I did enjoy about Frozen. Sadie Rose is a spunky little thing. In spite of years of learning how to be a proper young woman, and obeying without any other otherwise, she takes her life into her own hands numerous times in Frozen. This could be a good/bad thing, as it’s such a change of character from who Sadie Rose was to who she became, but I like to think that finding the photos she found could have been the catalyst for such a change without making it too drastic.
I loved the portrayal of Minnesota. I haven’t read many books about the area, and also found helpful the list of additional reading Mary Casanova includes at the end of the book (and even marked a few of them down as possible future reads). There isn’t a lot of deeper writing about critical issues such as wildlife preservation and the feminist movement, but it was nice to see these things making enough of an appearance to give Frozen the overall feeling that it was, indeed, a historical novel and that means that history is happening all around Sadie Rose.
What I didn’t like was the ease in which Sadie Rose regains her voice – especially as it happens so quickly. I mean, part of the reason I picked up the book was because her silence called to me. I needed to see a book written about this event, and grow with Sadie Rose as she struggled to overcome what has happened to her for the last 11 years. I just don’t buy it though. I don’t think someone who hasn’t uttered a word in 11 years could be speaking fairly normally right off the bat. I defer to the experts out there, but as a reader of fiction (who likes it to be fairly realistic, unless I’m reading fantasy or something), it didn’t work for me and jarred me out of the story more than once.
I think Frozen would be a good young adult novel for those interested in exploring historical fiction about the area. Frozen is entertaining, and a fairly quick read, and in spite of that one issue, I did enjoy the book.
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