Zoe Mark, March 30, 2014 (view all comments by Zoe Mark)
This book was recommended to me by a teacher who said that he thought we might like it. I found this book to be very interesting and the whole time I was curious about where the story was going to go. I liked the way the story was told from multiple perspectives, it added context. Rose is the eighth child and she was born to replace her older sister who had died. Rose had always dreamed as a child of an imaginary white bear who she would go on journeys with. When the white bear shows up at her house and asks for her to come with him, she has to make a very hard choice. This book takes place in Norway and incorporates Nordic folklore. Although there were times that were slow, I was curious to find out what Rose would do the whole time. I recommend this book to anyone who is interested in folklore with a modern twist.
bluedolphin_dancer1, November 12, 2013 (view all comments by bluedolphin_dancer1)
This book is beautifully written, and suitable for all ages. I read it for the first time when I was 8, and am still revisiting it over 6 years later. Edith Pattou weaves an intricate storyline through detailed descriptions of various settings. A story of travel, love, beauty and fantasy, she brings her characters to life in the most extraordinary ways. From the conflicted family she grows up with, from the bear who takes her into a life of wonder. The mother and daughter in the French countryside who show her what her life could have been like, and the gruff, drunk sailer who finds it in his heart to help her. And finally, the climax of the story-I promise it won't disappoint! A wonderful and descriptive book, it will captivate readers of all ages! A great read-aloud book for parents with children around the age of ten.
Cioccolata16, November 16, 2009 (view all comments by Cioccolata16)
Having grown up on the picture-book version of this fairy tale, reading the more complex and mature story that Pattou presents was thoroughly enjoyable. The format of the narrative novel is captivating and it is hard to put the book down once you get pulled in.
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Jenni, November 20, 2008 (view all comments by Jenni)
East by Edith Pattou is a retelling of the Old Norwegian tale East o' the Sun, West o' the Moon. I loved the original story and when I saw East was a retelling of the story I had to read it right away. This re-telling was brilliant in that the author brought all the characters to life, and took time so that you could get to know them and how they felt. So many of the re-tellings of this story show the mother as being evil without an explanation of why, in East the author takes time in explaining why the mother reacted the way she did to Rose (read the story and you'll understand) where as in the original (and so many re-tellings) you didn't get to read that. I've read other reviews pegging this tale as Beauty and the Beast I guess in some sense it is only with snow and its set in the Northern Lands. I found East to be an engrossing read and would highly recommend it to anyone.
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by Booklist (Starred Review),
"[A] rich tapestry that will resonate with readers of books such as Robin McKinley's renderings of Beauty and the Beast....[T]he stuff of epic tale telling, replete with high drama and compelling characterizations."
by School Library Journal,
"Pattou's writing pitches readers gracefully between myth and fantasy, inviting those unaccustomed to either genre to explore the frozen world of questing that she has so vividly created."
by Publishers Weekly,
"Readers with a taste for fantasy and folklore will embrace Pattou's lushly rendered retelling....Handsomely evoking a landscape filled with castles, trolls, shamans and spellbound princes, the story will exercise its audience's imagination."
by Kirkus Reviews,
"Rose is a sturdy character inside and out...and the pace does pick up in the second half — but only fitfully does this achieve the intensity of feeling or vividness of setting that drives the best of the recent flurry of retold romances."
"The story itself is gripping, endlessly so....Pattou certainly has made a successful fantasy out of a simple fairy tale: each character has a fleshed-out personality and the details of such work as map making and sailing ships among the icebergs come to life as she describes them."
by Children's Literature,
"Related in the alternating point of views of Rose, her father and brother, the Troll Queen, and white bear, this fantasy adventure deserves kudos for creating memorable characters, and soaring beyond the traditional fairy tale."
A young woman goes to the ends of the earth — and beyond — to rescue the man she loves in this sweeping epic that was named an ALA Notable Book and School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. Includes a reader's guide and author interview.
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