Later, as we made our way to our beds, Rose whispered, “Why does the white bear want me, Neddy?” I shook my head. I could not guess, except that somehow I felt sure it had something to do with the sadness in the animal’s eyes. Some great need.
Ebba Rose’s mother is very superstitious. When she was still unmarried she went to a skjebne-soke, in other words, a shaman. The Skjebne-soke prophesied that if she was to give birth while facing north, which means she would be giving birth to a “North born”, that child would die under a mountain of snow, buried so deep that it couldn’t, with out help, get out. So, when she gives birth to a girl, while she faced north, she claims that it is an East born, and calls the girl Ebba Rose, instead of Nyamh.(The first letters of all of her children’s first names start with the letter of the direction she was facing when she gave birth.) When Rose is fifteen, her sister Sara gets deathly ill, and her family falls upon hard times, So when a mysterious white bear comes, and tells Rose that if she will go with him, he will make all her family’s fortunes turn around, of course she accepts.
Aside from the morelogical reasons for going with the white bear, I had another reason. And that was simply that I wanted to go. It was madness, I knew, to consider going off into unknown lands with a wild beast that owuld most likely devour me at journey’s end. I did not want to die. And yet, I wanted to go.
I liked this book. It is a retelling of East of the sun, West of the moon, which is a fairy tale. It also seems to have a bit of Snow White and Rose Red mixed into it. I would recommend this book to anyone who liked The Goose Girl. I would give this three stars.