Frozen

Mary Casanova, Author
Mary Casanova. Univ. of Minnesota, $16.95 (264p) ISBN 978-0-8166-8056-6
Hardcover - 256 pages - 978-0-8166-8208-9
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-0-8166-8057-3
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In this suspenseful historical novel set in northern Minnesota in 1920, 16-year-old narrator Sadie Rose, who has been mute since her mother's murder 11 years before, discovers clues to the trauma that silenced her ("Other than an occasional cry or moan, my voice had died with Mama years ago. Silence. My sanctuary and prison"). Sadie Rose lives in cloistered luxury as the ward of a prominent state senator. When Sadie Rose finds racy photographs of her mother and begins to remember her past, she finds the strength to speak, explore, make friends, rebel, and eventually run away to a frontier town to seek the truth. Casanova (The Klipfish Code) creates a strong sense of place and ably establishes her story's historical context. The narrative confronts weighty issues including prostitution, mental illness, and political corruption, but some are boldly presented and then tidily resolved. Although Sadie Rose's transformation into a daring and self-assured young woman is rather rapid, given her silent and highly sheltered upbringing, readers should find her an admirable heroine as she finds her voice and her future. Ages 13–up. Agent: Andrea Cascardi, Transatlantic Literary Agency. (Sept.)
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