I honestly wasn't expecting to enjoy this as much as I did - I tend to find that mainstream literary fiction leaves me cold, but Boy, Snow, Bird was lovely and haunting and lyrical and terrible.
It's difficult to talk about without spoilers - Boy, Snow, Bird is definitely one of those novels that works best if you go into it cold. But, just to sketch out the feel of the book, as it were:
It's set in 1950s America, and centres a number of women from the Whitman family, who conceal a suitably Gothic secret. It is (sort of) a retelling of "Snow White", one which explores issues of race and appearance and femininity. It is interwoven with the lyricism of fairytale, with tiny little mysteries that inhabit the border between story and truth, with female relationships that can be prickly and full of misunderstandings (I'm thinking of the relationship between Snow and Bird, which could so easily have slid into sentimentalism in the hands of another author). It is brimming with devastating emotional truth. And yet, out of trauma and hurt and misunderstanding it manages to create hope.
Has this post been cryptic enough? But seriously, if you do happen across this book - read it. Read it as an antidote to all the complacent, self-congratulatory stories about the American civil rights movement (*cough*Hairspray*cough*), and as a story about femininity and sisterhood and belonging.