Author: Mary Casanova
Release Date: September 1, 2012
Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
Page Count: 264
Genre(s): Historical Fiction
Summary from Goodreads:
Sixteen-year-old Sadie Rose hasn’t said a word in eleven years—ever since the day she was found lying in a snowbank during a howling storm. Like her voice, her memories of her mother and what happened that night were frozen.
Sadie Rose’s search for her personal truth is laid against a swirling historical drama—a time of prohibition and women winning the right to vote, political corruption, and a fevered fight over the area’s wilderness between a charismatic, unyielding, powerful industrialist and a quiet man battling to save the wide, wild forests and waters of northernmost Minnesota. Frozen is a suspenseful, moving testimonial to the haves and the have-nots, to the power of family and memory, and to the extraordinary strength of a young woman who has lost her voice in nearly every way—but is utterly determined to find it again.
Mary Casanova’s Frozen is a very unique book. The main themes aren’t anything new to me, but the setting and much of the execution were very different from anything I’ve ever read before. Frozen was definitely a very interesting book.
The story follows Sadie Rose, the daughter of a prostitute who died under mysterious circumstances. She was raised by a US Senator and his wife, who didn’t treat her very well do the fact that she’d lost her voice as a child, among other reasons. When Sadie Rose does regain her voice, she sets out to learn the truth about her mother.
Altogether, I think it was a good story, and Casanova included some nice messages about strength and individuality. I’m not sure if the “mystery” was truly supposed to be mysterious, and it wasn’t really, but the story was engaging and worth reading.
Where this book failed, for me, was in character relationships. There was nothing truly wrong with the characters themselves, but the way in which they interacted together was lacking.
For examples, I’ll use Sadie Rose’s newfound best friend, Trinity, and her love interest, Owen. With Trinity, early on in the book Trinity says she wants “to give friendship a try,” and from that point, it’s just accepted that Sadie Rose and Trinity are friends. With Owen, they go from having never spoken to each other to a point where the reader is supposed to understand that Owen and Sadie Rose have crushes on each other.
Aside from that, I think the 1920s setting Casanova chose to employ was interesting and unique. Most books set in that era are flapper-centric, but that wasn’t the case here. I do wish, however, that things had been expanded on a bit more, as I feel that Casanova could have made her setting vivid instead of just present.
Frozen was an interesting read. It scratched the surface of some big issues, but it never went in depth on anything in particular. I did enjoy it, though. The story was engaging and the conclusion was satisfying.