Snow in the Maze


Snow in the Maze is such a weird little book.  It looks like antique fiction but it was only published in 1979, so not all that old. I couldn't resist it when it turned up on Brotherhood Books, it looked like my cup of tea and the cover was so appealing. However, it started out as a mother-daughter conflict story -- sixteen year old Rosa has been painted in a series of celebrated portraits by her artist mother, and is thoroughly sick of being known as Rosa from the cards, calendars etc. It was quite hard to barrack for Rosa initially as she kept moaning on about how hard it was to be so beautiful and famous!

Then the story took a left turn by becoming the tale of 18th century brother and sister, careless Vialis and mean Cytherea, and their oppressed little orphan cousin Hebe, recounted by guardian of Briarcourt House, the mysterious Jackman. Then it took another turn and became a spooky time slip story, which is frankly, what I'd been expecting in the first place.

I've never read any other Barbara Freeman novels but from the blurb on the back cover it sounds as if they all quite similar in flavour -- gentle ghosts and time slips -- which is right up my alley. I can't say I fell in love with Snow in the Maze but if I come across any more Freemans I will probably surrender.

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