Book review: Snow in Summer, by Jane Yolen

Yolen, Jane. Snow in Summer. Philomel Books, 2011. 243 pgs. $16.99. ISBN:978-0-399-25663-9. Gr.6+.  P7 Q7

Yolen Snow in SummerSet in the mountains of West Virginia, Summer and her father mourn the loss of her mother. They cope well together till the day her father remarries and brings his new wife home. She is an evil woman who poisons Summer’s father and next tries to rid herself of Summer. Reminiscent of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, this story depicts the resources of a young girl who fights evil to survive.

November 2015 review by Carol Bernardi.

[Editor’s note: Although Jane Yolen has published more than 300 books, the current fairy tale retelling, Snow in Summer, does not entirely work.  Set in post-war West Virginia, Snow in Summer is an orphan whose father succumbs to the wiles of a woman versed in poisons who is a member of a snake-handling cult.  The historical description is very well done, but the attempts at multiple points of view and the fact that the heroine is alternately highly intelligent and then overlooks direct clues to what is going on weakens the story.  Yolen’s book, Briar Rose, is a much stronger offering.]

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