East

Image result for east edith pattouFirst Lines: I found the box in the attic of an old farmhouse in Norway.  It was large, the size of a footlocker, and there were markings on it; runes, I learned later.

I believe I was a sophomore in college when one of my good friends recommended this book to me after we’d spent some time wandering the library together.  I respected her recommendation enough to put it on my to-read list…but that cover.  That didn’t look like something I wanted to read.

Rose has always been different from her family.  They want her to be meek and settled, but Rose is anything but.  She longs for adventure.  So when an enormous white bear shows up at her door asking for Rose to come away with him in exchange for helping her family prosper, she agrees.  Rose travels a long way from home on the back of the bear and soon starts to get adjusted to her new home in a castle in the cliffs.  But things are not what they seem and as Rose’s curiosity gets the best of her, bad things begin to happen.

I did rather enjoy this. I heard it had kind of a Beauty and the Beast feel to it, which it does in the first half (though I would argue it’s almost identical to the myth of Cupid and Psyche), even though it’s based on a Norwegian story. I did think the whole trolls angle was pretty weird, but it kinda worked for the story.

I liked Rose’s adventurous spirit. She never let anything scare her away from what she wanted and that was admirable. She was strong, clever, and interesting. And white bear was interesting as well, though I felt like we never really got to know him or really much about his circumstances.

I don’t normally say this, but I actually liked that the story was told from so many different perspectives. Rose, her brother Neddy, Father, White Bear, Troll Queen. All of them added a little something to the story. I felt like it gave the story depth to know what was going on in different places than just wherever Rose was.

It was cute. It’s not necessarily something I would have picked up without a recommendation from someone who really knew my reading tastes, but I enjoyed it.

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