The Remarkable and Very True Story of Lucy and Snowdrop by H.M. Bouwman

At the moment, this is the book I’m reading.  I’m writing about it here because I think the book has a lot to say about colonialism and race and because the writer currently lives in St. Paul, Minnesota.

 

Genre:  Fantasy, Adventure

 

Target Audience:  Ages 10-14 although anyone can enjoy the story. 

 

Plot Summary:  Two 12 year old girls try to save their island from conniving, evil politicians.  Each girl comes from a different background.  Lucy is one of the Colay, the original inhabitants of the island group.  Snowdrop is the daughter of the leaders of newcomers (prisoners from England destined to 7 years of indentured servitude in Virginia until they get shipwrecked on the islands).  Snowdrop’s parents die through mysterious circumstances.  Snowdrop flees to avoid being kidnapped by the politicians.  Lucy flees her island to save her brother from the fate of all the other native men, being turned to stone. 

 

Lucy and Snowdrop start as grudging friends, but eventually learn to trust each other.

 

Best Parts of the Book:  Humor.  Phillip the Tutor with his grandiose ideas and cowardliness is the funniest character.  In him and his writings you can see how explorers and their recorders made sense of and tried to rewrite their experiences. 

 

Phillip the Tutor, Lucy, and Snowdrop all grew and transformed in realistic ways throughout the book.  This gave the book a realistic and hopeful mood even though the book contained some fantastic elements.

 

Colonialism: 

  • English renamed cities on the islands. For example, Lucy’s hometown is Sunset, but the English renamed it Dover.

 

  • The Colays are used as a scapegoat by conniving politicians. They blame the crimes they committed themselves to increase their political power on the Colay.

 

  • The Colays are punished when they try to profit by trading their own resources. For example, Lucy’s father wants to trade in the native rock, lifestone. The English conniver asks him where the lifestone is so that the English can control the trade. Lucy’s father refuses to tell and the Colays are punished.

 

  •  The Colay are seen as inferior. The connivers see Snowdrop with Lucy. They try to divide the girls by mocking Snowdrop for spending time with Lucy.

Recommended?  Yes!  Short, entertaining read with some great truths in it.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. H.M. Bouwman
    Aug 03, 2009 @ 02:02:07

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the book–and I’ve enjoyed paging through your site!

    Best,
    Heather

    Reply

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