Boy, Snow, Bird: A Novel
By Helen Oyeyemi
(Riverhead Books, $28)

Helen Oyeyemi’s novel Boy, Snow, Bird is a surrealist meditation on identity and family. When 20-year-old Boy Novak flees from her abusive father in New York City in the winter of 1953, she catches a bus to a quiet New England town where she can hide. Boy lives at a boardinghouse while finding odd jobs and befriending other misfits. She eventually marries a widower with a daughter named Snow and a family with a secret of its own — which becomes illuminated when Boy gives birth to her own daughter. But the biggest revelation comes when Boy learns the truth about the father she fought so hard to escape.