White Bird in a Blizzard [NOOK Book]

Overview

Now a major motion picture, starring Shailene Woodley and Eva Green.

I am sixteen when my mother steps out of her skin one frozen January afternoon—pure self, atoms twinkling like microscopic diamond chips around her perhaps the chiming of a clock, or a few bright flute notes in the distance—and disappears. No one sees her leave, but she is gone.

Laura Kasischke's first ...

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White Bird in a Blizzard

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Overview

Now a major motion picture, starring Shailene Woodley and Eva Green.

I am sixteen when my mother steps out of her skin one frozen January afternoon—pure self, atoms twinkling like microscopic diamond chips around her perhaps the chiming of a clock, or a few bright flute notes in the distance—and disappears. No one sees her leave, but she is gone.

Laura Kasischke's first novel. Suspicious River. was hailed by the critics as "extremely powerful" (The Los Angeles Times), "amazing" (The Boston Globe), and "a novel of depth, beauty, and insight" (The Seattle Times). Now Kasischke follows up her auspicious debut with a spellbinding and erotic tale of marriage, secrets, and self-deception.

When Katrina Connors' mother walks out on her family one frigid January day, Kat is surprised but not shocked; the whole year she has been "becoming sixteen"—falling in love with the boy next door, shedding her baby fat, discovering sex—her mother has slowly been withdrawing. As Kat and her father pick up the pieces of their daily life, she finds herself curiously unaffected by her mother's absence. But in dreams that become too real to ignore, she's haunted by her mother's cries for help. . . .
Like Suspicious River, which The New Yorker described as "by turns terrifying and ravishingly lyrical," White Bird in a Blizzard evokes the works of Kathryn Harrison and Joyce Carol Oates—and confirms Kasischke's arrival as a major talent.

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Editorial Reviews

Carmen Scheidel
Part of what makes this book so enjoyable is that its emotional depth is accompanied by lightness and subtle humor. . . Kasischke's beautiful, precisely layered imagery shows that while relationships can become blurred and indecipherable like a white bird in a blizzard, through that impossible storm an answer will reveal itself. -- Time Out New York
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Four crucial years in a troubled teenager's life are the focus of this eloquently written, suspenseful second novel by the author of the praised Suspicious River. Having grown up in an extraordinarily suffocating atmosphere, 16-year-old Kat Connors greets her mother's disappearance one winter day with stoic calm. Kat is overweight, lives in a cookie-cutter suburb, feels her heavy figure makes her a social outcast--and yet has a pivotal adolescent sexual experience. Readers who find similarities between Kat and Delores Price, the heroine of Wally Lamb's She's Come Undone, will also see eerie similarities in Kat's tense relationship with her mother both mothers have birds as pets, in one case a parakeet, in the other a canary; the girls' fathers hate them; subsequently, both birds are found dead at the bottom of their cages. In both novels, mother and daughter end up sleeping with the same man without the daughter's knowledge. Like Delores, Kat sees a psychiatrist who becomes a father figure to her. Both heroines lose weight and triumph over their traumatic experiences, and each experiences the unexpected death of her mother. Despite these similarities, Kasischke's heroine is a fully rounded, distinctively portrayed character--a self-centered, typically hormone-crazed teenager who painstakingly develops into a self-aware young woman. Kasischke movingly charts her progress into a person, a young lady who learns to trust her instincts and her misgivings about the truth behind her mother's disappearance. Jan.
Kirkus Reviews
Poet Kasischkens second novel (after Suspicious River, 1996) is a mix of the fine and the irritating that glides slowly downward to an airy nothing. Life in suburban Garden Heights, Ohio, becomes at once more exciting and more miserable for teenaged Katrina Connors when she falls in love with classmate and next-door neighbor Phil: the new-found sex is wonderful, but Katrinans already exceeding-strange mother gets suddenly all the more antagonistic, cruel, and unpredictablenand then disappears entirely, never to be heard from again except for one phone call (or so Kat believes) declaring shenll never come home again. Good riddance, many a reader will say, to this woman who through boredom, sexual unhappiness, ingrained habit, pure spite, and unmitigated meanness routinely derided her admittedly dull-witted husband (a school administrator named Brock) and did no better by her daughter, choosing her name because nShe wanted a cat,n overfondling her in childhood, then manically humiliating her in teenhood when Phil comes on the scene. Nevertheless, Momns disappearance triggers a sense of enormous emptiness in Kat (nthere are no adjectives for this lightness I feel, this whitenessn) that gets labeled nanxiety disorder,n parallels suburban Ohions emptiness itself, and takes her to a psychoanalyst, wherenwell, where the bookns trouble begins, seeming uncertain where to go next. A year will pass, two, then three; Kat starts college; Phil and Kat break up; we meet eccentric grandmothers, Philns mother (shens blind), Katns girlfriends (they smoke, drink, and gossip in the basement), the Detective Scieziesciez (itns pronounced nshh-shh-shhn), whom Kat seduces (hens more manly than Dad),beginning a long affair; and then, and then Then all will end surprisingly indeed, with Mom, as it happens, never having left home at all, but just, wellnchilling out. Ambitious writing in equal parts elegant and excessive, with a psychology that spins out of control and goes poof.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780544465053
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 7/15/2014
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 56,594
  • File size: 375 KB

Meet the Author

Laura Kasischke is the author of two novels and three collections of poetry. Her numerous awards include the Alice Fay DiCastagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers. She lives in Chelsea, Michigan.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 29, 2014

    This is a fantastic book-why is it out of print?! I would love a

    This is a fantastic book-why is it out of print?! I would love a physical copy of the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 12, 2015

    WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE GOD DAMN 

    WHY IS IT SO EXPENSIVE GOD DAMN 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 29, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I decided to give this book a read whenever I saw the movie trai

    I decided to give this book a read whenever I saw the movie trailer. It appeared to be something that I would be interested in, but I always try to read the book first if given the opportunity.

    At around 13% or so, I thought about marking the book DNF and just going to watch the movie. By this point in the book, I was already tired of the too long descriptions about things that didn't make a bit of difference to the story. There's a line between well written and overly descriptive and boring. White Bird in a Blizzard crossed that line. However, not one to give up so easily, I decided to stick with the book a little longer to see if something would grab my attention. Unfortunately, that never happened. While I did finish the book, there was never a point where the story took off and truly became interesting.

    The story was not only boring, but was disjointed and all over the place. I felt like too much attention was paid to things that were inconsequential and not enough attention was paid to things that would have brought this book to the next level. And although this was a coming of age story about a teenage girl after her mother's disappearance, I didn't really care about Kat. I was much more interested in Eve and her disappearance. Perhaps that's where my main disappointment in the book comes from. It focused much more heavily on something that I didn't care about.

    On a side note, very shortly after I finished this book, I watched the movie. I enjoyed it slightly more than I enjoyed the book. I attribute this to the ending of the movie which is slightly different than the ending of the book. So, while I'm not inclined to recommend the movie or the book, if I had to make a choice between the two, I'd say go for the movie in this case.

    You can read all of my reviews on my blog, KDH Reviews.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2014

    Predictable

    It started off slow for me. I would say close to the end the book picked up for me but then ended too abruptly. I already called the ending after a few pages which made it hard for me to get into. The more i read, the more i thought "yup this is what happened."

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 12, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews

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