The Remarkable & Very True Story of Lucy & Snowcap
In the late summer of 1787, the last baby of the Colay people is born on a small, uncharted island off the coast of Virginia. Instead of being cause for celebration, the birth augurs grief and despair: since the baby is a boy, and he is, like other Colay males, destined to turn to stone. The Colay suspect, correctly, that the curse has something to do with the Anglish who arrived seventeen years earlier and colonized the largest of the Colay islands. The Anglish settlers are all convicts sent to the New [End Page 111] World to become indentured servants, but a fortuitous storm relieved them of their captors and enabled them to establish a thriving colony. Some of the convicts have not changed their ways, however, and they are attempting to wrest power from their own appointed leaders and destroy the native Colays. Lucy, the new baby’s sister, who refuses to leave him to his cursed fate, and Snowcap, the imperiled Child Governor, both flee their homes, and when their paths intersect in the woods of the main island, they join forces, sometimes gladly, sometimes reluctantly, to save their people and bring a lasting peace between natives and settlers. The page-turning adventure fronts for a subtle moral tale about loyalty, perseverance, and the power of finding one’s own particular gifts. Secondary characters Adam and Philip are appealing and well drawn, adding sympathy, thief’s wisdom, and humor to balance the sometimes grumpy determination of Lucy and Snowcap. Despite the author’s note describing the accuracy of the historical detail that structures the fictional island with its colonial and indigenous residents, this is a book less for historical fiction fans than for fantasy buffs, but the combination of historical and fantasy elements gives Lucy and Snowcap’s quest folkloric as well as dramatic appeal.