by Kit Darling

At our April meeting we discussed Boy, Snow Bird by Helen Oyeyemi.

A reimagining of Snow White, the story follows the life of Boy Novak, who escapes from her abusive father, a rat catcher, and runs from New York City to Flax Hill Massachusetts. There she meets and eventually marries Arturo Whitman, widower, retired History Professor, Jewellery maker and father of Snow. When her daughter Bird is born she is clearly African American. Arturo and his parents are “passing for white” as were the parents of Arturo’s first wife. Told from the perspectives of Boy, Snow and finally Bird, the tale often takes on a dreamlike quality. Some members found the book confusing; some did not care for it at all; and others enjoyed it. This generated some heated debate (but we’re still all friends!)

And here are recommended reads available from the Hamilton Public Library. Visit the Bookmobile at Bennetto Recreation Centre on Tuesday (2:30 to 4:30) and Thursday (6:00 to 8:00) or go online at to reserve a copy.

My Conversation with Canadians by Lee Maracle.  A member of the Sto:Lo First Nation (Coast Salish), Maracle reflects on and expounds on a variety of issues including prejudice, governance, citizenship and reconciliation; questions which have been raised by members of her audience over her years speaking across the country. She offers no answers but challenges the reader’s preconceptions and offers a unique perspective. I found myself alternately agreeing and challenged and always in a conversation with her and with my self. Informative and well worth a read.  (Kit)

The Second Sister by Claire Kendal. This psychological thriller by British author Kendal is worth a read even though the plotting and characters are unrealistic and almost unlikeable at times. Mostly though, it is taut, creepy and has a tense but ultimately satisfying conclusion. (Kit)

Have you read any of our recommendations? Liked any of the same books we talked about or disagreed totally? Let us know at .