Blood Red Snow White: a novel

p 62 “Now, the time for fairy tales is nearly over. But, before they’re done, there’s time for one more, and, just as all rivers flow into the sea, so that their waters are mixed, all our stories flow together here, into one.”

Sometimes I pick up a YA novel (young adult) and I am enthralled. Totally. This is one. Not unlike a folktale or fairy tale which is ostensibly written down for children (not historically, of course!) yet, on another level is directly aimed at the adult audience, Sedgwick creates his own fairy tale within a fairy tale. Multi-leveled. Complex. Sublime.

Russia. Arthur Ransome and his Old Peter’s Russian Tales. I am awed by how this author crafts a folktale entry into the Bolshevik revolution; all the while threading the life of British children’s author, Arthur Ransome along, with his curious history, into a compelling work of fiction. This book offers Russian history to a reader such as I – disinterested – because it is not historical fiction. Although you meet Trotsky, Lenin, and a plethora of intriguing characters from history, it is the tale that subsumes the history. The woodsman in his cottage. The bear. The hapless prince. The unlikely hero.

The stories continues long beyond the last page. To read more. A biography of Arthur Ransome. Histories of political spies during WWI. Ransome’s Old Peter’s Russian Tales.

amazonAll the titles in his children’s series Swallows and Amazons.

It is the perfect time to read this book. “So I forgot politics and soon, politics forgot me” (283).


Sedgwick, Marcus. Blood Red Snow White: a novel.  New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2007. Print.

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