Saturday, September 4, 2010

Review by Lauren - East

East by Edith Pattou

In the rural villages of Norway, there is an ancient belief that children inherit the qualities of the direction in which they are born. Nymah Rose, the last daughter of eight siblings born to a poor mapmaker and his superstitious wife, was a North-born baby. It is said that North-born babies are wild, unpredictable, intelligent, and destined to break their mothers' hearts because they all leave hearth and home to travel to the far ends of the earth.

To keep her close, Rose’s mother lied and told her she had been born of the obedient and pliable East. But destiny cannot be denied. One day, a great white bear comes to the mapmaker’s door to claim Rose’s birthright. Everything that comes after, as richly imagined by author Edith Pattou, is the basis for one of the most epic romantic fantasies ever told.

East is a deftly woven tapestry that melds traditional fairy tale motifs of both Beauty and the Beast and East of the Sun and West of the Moon, with the haunting icy lore of medieval northern lands. Told in a changing chorus of voices, including that of Rose, her hopeful brother Neddy, her regretful father, the charmed white bear, and the Troll Queen whose selfish wish is the catalyst that seals Rose’s fate, East will enchant any and all who venture within its pages.

First Impression: I did a lot of looking around online before deciding to buy East - I was in a book buying mood but tend to be picky. It got great reviews and sounded interesting.

East is the retelling of the classic Nowegian fairy tale, East of the Sun and West of the Moon - very similar to Beauty and the Beast with a little more adventure to it along with some references to Norse mythology. I love fairy tales and right from the start, I was hooked. I loved it.

The beginning of the book was great. Interesting, intriguing, and I could not wait to finish, but then it kindof dropped off. There was a good chunk in the middle that I could barely focus on. The story had just sortof died off for me. It was a great retelling of the story though, great writing for the most part, and I did enjoy it overall.

Final Impressions: Great retelling of a classic with a little bump in the middle. Beginning and end were great though.


  1. I've seen very few reviews on this one, so I never really considered buying it. Your review makes me think I should though! Great review :)

  2. This is a great review.I might just have to keep an eye out for it.

  3. Glad you liked this one (despite the hump in the middle)! It's one of my favorite re-tellings of East of the Sun and West of the Moon.


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