NebraskaIcebergs's Reviews > The Oxboy

The Oxboy by Anne Mazer
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's review
Oct 22, 11

bookshelves: own

While The Oxboy is a well-written allegory with an important message, it is not typical Anne Mazer fare. After the hint of conflict in the first chapter, the next two chapters backtrack to tell about how a woman and an ox unite during a time when animals are outcasts. As such, The Oxboy is a slower and more plodding tale than Anne Mazer's other books. Even when the pace picks up in chapter four, because the strange union is discovered and the family is being hunted, the book remains overtly moralistic and dark. Rarely are readers allowed to forget the message of prejudice and cruelty, to the point that The Oxboy rarely receives help from even his fellow animals. There are moments of beauty, especially in the friendship between Oxboy and an otter he rescues, and in the scenic descriptions. For example, the family cottage is described as a sweet-smelling barn, far off the main road, at the end of a tumbled path overgrown with clover and blackberries. Can't you just picture it? While I did like The Oxboy, it lacks the spark and charm I have come to appreciate from Anne Mazer.

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