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Publisher's Summary

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts, looking, she believes, for beauty - the opposite of the life she' s left behind in New York. She marries a local widower and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow Whitman. A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she' d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy' s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African Americans passing for white. Among them, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold.

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.

©2014 Helen Oyeyemi (P)2014 Recorded Books

What listeners say about Boy, Snow, Bird

Average Customer Ratings
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    5 out of 5 stars
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For Literary Lovers

Would you consider the audio edition of Boy, Snow, Bird to be better than the print version?

I can only guess that the audio version is more entertaining than the print due to the quality of voice performance versus silently reading.

What did you like best about this story?

The parallels to Snow White and the subtlety of language.

What about Susan Bennett and Carra Patterson ’s performance did you like?

I loved the New York accents!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

There were some parts that I laughed out loud at, yes.

Any additional comments?

I loved that Boy's father was named The Ratcatcher. It was a fun book to read, but there are so many things to appreciate about the literature and craft of writing that it was not just pleasure reading.

7 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Read the book, skip the audio version

My recommendation would be to read this book by the page as opposed to an audiobook. I had a hard time following the story once it branched off in the middle section in interactions between Bird and Snow. Overall, I believe the theme is that family secrets are dangerous and can destroy healthy relationships but I wish the author had gotten to the point sooner because I felt the story just dragged on and on.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow!

Very imaginative of the author to envision the back story of a "wicked" stepmother. It is hard to review this book without giving away the plot, so suffice it to say this was a very interesting story. The characters were well developed and the plot fairly well paced. And there were several plot twists that induced a little jaw dropping.

I enjoyed the book so much I read reviews and interviews with the author which all made me want to read more by her. I highly recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderful surprise read!

I went into this book knowing very little about it. I heard Helen Oyeyemi giving an interview on Reading Lives podcast and thought I'd check out a book by her. I was blown away! I loves this book. I have it on Kindle and Audible. In both forms, it is wonderful. The readers are fantastic and the story is amazing. I loved it!

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Loses steam in the Middle.

Would you listen to Boy, Snow, Bird again? Why?

I would certainly listen again to see if I missed any clues.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Boy, Snow, Bird?

The end of part I. I didn't see that coming.

What aspect of Susan Bennett and Carra Patterson ’s performance would you have changed?

Whomever assumed the voice of Bird - I couldn't tell if she was attempting to portray a small child, a teenager, or an adult. Maybe that's partly due to the rather weak (relatively speaking) writing during this section, but the performance was rather weak.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reactions. It just kept me interested.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Part 1 excellent, Part 2 so-so, Part 3 very good

I'm torn about rating this book because of the inconsistency in both writing and narration. Boy is the mother, Snow is the step daughter and Bird is the daughter. Part 1 (Susan Bennett), mostly about Boy, is amazingly written and Bennett's narration is exceptional. Part 2 (Carra Patterson) is about Snow and Bird and not sure what else is going on there. Part 2 didn't seem to fit to me, not as compelling and the narration was so-so at best. Part 3 (Susan Bennett) is back to Boy, and includes Snow and Bird. Again the writing is not as exceptional as Part 1, but the twist at the end and the understanding that comes over Boy makes up for it. I highly recommend it assuming you don't mind skimming through Part 2.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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Horrible

Horrible book. Too many sub levels of storytelling that were too long and uninteresting. Allot of unanswered questions that made the climax fizzle. I had high hopes for the book and continued reading, however eventually I realized I was wasting my time. Grade: D

1 person found this helpful

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Confused

Interesting story, however it was confusing at many places and I had to rewind alot

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Restrained but powerful

This was good! I agree with other reviewers that the story lags in the middle, but it's worth sticking with it, even skimming or skipping that middle section once Snow and Bird start sharing their stories. But once Boy starts narrating again, listen! There are some really unique lines in this book that make you remember why you read and why you love that playing with words. I won't quote them here and ruin it for you. It's fun to hear them and do that aural double take;-) The story is about identity, race, beauty, and motherhood and is told in a matter of fact, kind of emotionless way, but that only adds to its impact. Narration was spot on!

1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • JR
  • 12-28-15

Strange and disjointed

Any additional comments?

Quit listening at chapter 6. The story just was not flowing for me. Life is too short for books that don't have great language/writing or a great story. This book had neither for me so I quit listening

1 person found this helpful