Can a troubled young girl reenter society after living in isolation?
When a beautiful 16-year-old girl named Sophie is found sequestered in a cage-like room in a rundown house in the desolate hills of Arbon Valley, Idaho, the entire community is shocked to learn she is the legendary Callidora--a baby girl who was kidnapped from her crib almost seventeen years ago and canonized in missing posters with portraits of what the fabled girl might resemble. Authorities soon learn that the cage was there to protect people from Sophie, because her biological father believes she is cursed.
Sophie is discovered after the man she knows as Papa, shoots and injures Damien, a young man who is trying to rescue her. Now, unsocialized and thrust into the world, and into a family she has never met, Sophie must decide whether she should accept her Papa’s claims that she is cursed and he was only trying to protect others, or trust the new people in her life who have their own agendas. Guided by a wise cousin, Sophie realizes that her most heartbreaking challenge is to decide if her love for Damien will destroy him like her Papa claims, or free her from past demons that haunt her mind.
I have enjoyed the young adult books I've read so far from Tribute Books, and I was very anxious to read this when I was first invited to join the blog tour. At that time the back cover copy did not reveal so much about the gist of the story, so I went into it not knowing what was going on, and I like it that way. Now that the book is out, I think the back cover gives too much of the suspense away, and that's unfortunate.
The Color of Snow is an ambitious story about the effects of isolation and a parent's mental illness on a child, and the hard road back to normal. It has a really great premise, but I think it suffers in the execution. Is it a story about parental kidnapping? Mental illness? Religious and racial bigotry? Child molestation? Star-crossed love? Well, the answer is pretty much all of the above. There were too many underlying threads and thus none of them were given enough attention to be fully fleshed out, or to feel like they all came together in the end. There was also way too much head-hopping for my taste. Sophie's is the main point of view, but we also get her father, her grandmother, a friend of the family, the cop who found her, etc. And then toward the end, Sophie from the future starts butting in with reflections on the time the reader is just now experiencing. I think I would have liked this much better if the focus stayed on Sophie throughout the story, and if the story slowly unraveled through her attempts at discovering the truth about her birth and her father and her place in the world, rather than getting the bulk of the mystery of her life told in flashback. I did find Sophie's plight to be very emotional, and I really felt for her at times, but there were other times when I just wanted to smack her for continuing to cling to some outrageous false beliefs in the face of truth and logic.
So I did not enjoy The Color of Snow as much as I'd hoped, but the story did keep me burning through the pages, anxious to see how it would all play out. It gets three stars for its serious subject matter and for enticing me to read all the way through to a poignant and resonant ending, but overall it fell a bit short for me.
My Rating: 3 Stars out of 5
The Color of Snow is on a blog tour!
Click here to view the tour schedule on the book's official website.
Click here to visit the
Tribute Books website.