Friday, June 23, 2006

East by Edith Pattou

The moment Ebba Rose was born, her family knew she would be different, from her purple eyes, to the fact that she had been born facing the north. As her mother says, babies born facing north will be adventurous and troublesome. One day, Rose’s sister Sara falls ill, and her parents become extremely worried. Then, out of the blue, comes a white bear. He claims he can heal Sara, and also help the family in their poverty, as long as he can have Rose in exchange. Rose’s mother, following her superstitious ways, agrees to it. Her father is against it. Of course, Rose decides for herself that she must go. The bear takes Rose to a beautiful castle in France, where she lives our her days, sewing, and learning to play music, but at night a stranger she cannot see sleeps in her bed beside her, and she has a strong suspicion that he is in fact, the white bear. One night, Rose lights a candle, and sees that is a man with golden hair, but hot tallow drips onto him, and he is awakened, and with a few rods of pain and sorrow explaining his curse, he is whisked away by a beautiful woman in a chariot. Now Rose must find him and save him from his fate.

Edith Pattou has written a beautiful Norwegian rendition of Beauty and the Beast. It takes place in sixteenth century Europe, and has the air of mystery and magic. East is a wonderful tale of a girl who defied all odds to save the one she loved. – Olivia R.

No comments: