H's Reviews > East

East by Edith Pattou
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Dec 19, 10

Read in December, 2010

** spoiler alert ** I tried reading this last year and found it really difficult to get into--the beginning is really slow--so I did what I always do when books are slow: I found the audiobook. Even still, I wasn't that involved in the story until I started reading Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George and realized it was a retelling of the same folktale as this one. After I finished it, I had to finish this one and actually got the book from the library. The end makes up for the slow beginning (and, let's be honest, middle). While I liked George's retelling better as a whole, there were some parts where I liked Pattou's narrative/plot/character decisions better--vice versa, also. I liked how Rose's journey to find the white bear was somewhat realistic, in that it was a journey anyone with a lot of determination could undertake, if you accept the existence of trolls, of course. This story also had a very folktale feel, where it really felt like the kind of story a village leader would tell around the fire. I also liked how Rose and her white bear didn't end up happily ever after right away--he knew they needed to be on equal footing for their relationship to be a happy one, so he set off on his own journey to find out about himself. I equally liked how she followed him. However, there were an awful lot of "somehow's" and "for some reason's," which was a little irritating (e.g., "for some reason, she trusted him"; "somehow she understood") since it seems sort of like a copout insofar as narrating. All in all, though, it was well done but I'm not sure I liked it enough to buy it. I'm undecided on that point.
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