I don’t quite know where to start with this book. It is extremely well written, but there are portions of this book that are so dark and horrible that I found it hard to keep listening. And if I found it almost too dark and horrible to read, you know someone out there has probably thought about challenging/banning it. I figured this would be the perfect book review to round out the my Banned Books Week posts.
Liga Longfield’s mother is dead, and her father uses her as a “replacement” for his wife. Every time the girl becomes pregnant, he buys herbs or burnings from Muddy Annie to cause her to miscarry. He ends up dying on the way home from his final trip to Annie, so Liga is allowed to keep her baby. Shortly after the baby is born, a gang of boys from town come out to her house and gang rape her. She falls pregnant again. A magical force allows Liga to escape that horrible world, though, so she can raise her daughters in a personal heaven of sorts. There are ways to move between the two worlds, though, and other characters find their way in. There is a kind bear (who is really a man), a greedy dwarf, and another bear (man) who is not as pure of heart as the first. I don’t want to say much more, though, because I don’t want to spoil it — and feel as if I already have by giving just the barest essentials. Because of the sophisticated themes and some of the disturbing scenes, I would not recommend this book for younger teens/tweens. Mature readers, however, should enjoy this re-telling of the Grimm Brothers’ story “Snow-White and Rose-Red.”
Happy Banned Books Week!