The Beloved Wild

Melissa Ostrom.. Feiwel and Friends, $17.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-13279-6
Harriet Submit Winter has no intention of living up to her name and marrying her boring neighbor Daniel Long to meet expectations of gender norms set up in pioneer times. Instead, she disguises herself as Freddy, a boy, and leaves the family farm in New Hampshire with her brother Gideon to forge a new life in the wilderness of western New York. Ostrom effectively contextualizes the discussion of societal limitations imposed upon women within the story's well-drawn historical setting. For Harriet, her male alter ego provides her with a protective armor and a sense of limitless potential, while it also starkly highlights gender inequity. A complicated courtship in the wilderness plays out like Pride and Prejudice with a western backdrop, but the ending bucks tradition to set up a refreshingly level-headed ever-after that is steeped in reality and feels true to the journey. Ages 13-up. Agent: Rebecca Stead, The Book Group. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/12/2018
Release date: 03/27/2018
Ebook - 978-1-250-13280-2
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