A few weeks ago, my daughter gave me a stack of books with the instruction to "READ!". This was the first one I picked up.
East is a beautiful retelling of the old fairy tale "East of the Sun, West of the Moon". It's set in a sort of alternate-historical Norway and told from the point of view of five people: Rose, a feisty girl with a serious case of wanderlust; Neddy, her older brother who is the closest to her of her seven siblings; Rose's father; a troll Queen who has enslaved a young man in the body of a white bear; and the white bear himself.
If you're familiar with the fairy tale, you'll know the basic premise here, though there are many versions of it. In East, Rose is forced to go off with a talking bear in order to save her family from illness and poverty. She spends a year living with the white bear in an enchanted palace and grows to love him. Meanwhile, her family desperately searches for Rose in an effort to bring her back home.
I loved the way this novel was written; it was lyrical and evocative. I look forward to reading more of Edith Pattou's work.