Finding Baba Yaga: A Short Novel in Verse
A young woman discovers the power to speak up and take control of her fate—a theme that has never been more timely than it is now…
You think you know this story.
You do not.
A harsh, controlling father. A quiescent mother. A house that feels like anything but a home. Natasha gathers the strength to leave, and comes upon a little house in the wood: A house that walks abou...more
Yolen's take on the Baba Yaga
The Verse - skillfully done, the verse unfolds the story of a nameless girl, fleeing a bad home and finding one with Baba Yaga.
I don't really have a lot of them. But perhaps it was a bit difficult to feel emotional connection to the storyline.
Thanks to Netgalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review
The feminist themes of a girl without her place, mixed with hints of mythology and the general woman-witch archetype was amazing. This is a fast read, and you don't know quite what to make of it, but you know the feeling is good.
Finding Baba Yaga hints at many things - abusive or restricting, over-religious parents, lack of freedom to choose even your own thoughts or word ...more
At first, I was a bit confused not just because of the obscure opening verses but also because Yolen chose the "gradual reveal" peeling-the-onion style of storytelling, and it's only the further you read that the plot becomes cleare ...more
This is a tale
both old and new,
The reason ...more
So when ...more
For me, reading this book was like seeing the design in that collection of disparate pieces. Turn this piece of fabric around, and the design becomes something new. Rest it against something contrasting, and see colours come out that you never saw before. Or parts of an old familiar story that you never ex ...more
Baba Yaga is the archetypal crone. She is a slavic legend, an old woman, probably immortal, with iron teeth, who lives in a house that walks about on chicken legs and is surrounded by a fence of human bones. She flies ...more
I was offered an e-ARC of Finding Baba Yaga in return for an honest review and took it on a whim due to a life-long fascination with the old witch. As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, I have a great fondness for Slavic and Russian folklore, and when I heard about a reimagining of the Baba, I was all too happy to take a very close look. Novels written in verse are not my usual cup of tea, however -- I’m much more comfortable with prose. That said ...more
Natasha narrates her own story as she tells about her long journey into the woods. There is hunger, wind, cold ...more
Expect no princes*,
Expect no magic rings
Expect no glass slippers
Expect no fairy godmothers
Expect no singing dwarfs
Expect no dragons."
*Well, maybe you should expect one, because every tale with a Vasilisa must have a prince. But Vasilisa is not our protagonist here.
This is a luminous retelling of Baba Yaga, in which we see the making of Baba Yaga through the eyes and life of a runaway girl, Natasha (Nasty to some, Tasha to Vasilisa). Natasha has run away from a home with ...more
Let me start out with a negative (that might just be my lack of understanding of the poetry.) One slightly disappointing aspect is that it seems to be more free verse than I had expected. I'm not a huge fan of free verse. I like to see writers working within the boundaries of poetical forms. However, at times, I did see some patterns, and I also counted some of t ...more
The bad news is the verse was a bit more troublesome than Creech's. Yolen goes for full-on ...more
Usually I like stories written in lyrical prose, and love fairytale retellings. I've been fascinated by Baba Yaga ever since I read Egg and Spoon last year, but I'm not as familiar with her and the surrounding stories as I should be. I really expected to like this book, a modernized retelling of sorts. But I didn't.
Though the prose is well-written, the story didn't really grab me. There wasn't an ...more
There are some wonderfully playful elements to this story, between Tash and Vasilisa, and even with Baba Yaga. Yolen plays with modern elements, like with B ...more
I've been a fan of Jane Yolen's for over twenty years, and one of the best things about her is that she never stops finding new ways to tell stories. "Finding Baba Yaga" is a fairy tale set in the modern era and told entirely through verse. Each chapter of the story contains several short poems that weave together to tell the story of Natasha, a young girl who runs away from an unstable home situation and finds a new start in the home of the witch Baba Yaga. ...more
If I had realised this was a novel written in verse, I probably wouldn't have requested it since I'm not fond of that as a literary device for modern storytelling. However I found this interesting and at times enjoyable so I'm glad I didn't realise it was in verse until I started reading it. It tells the story, through short poems, of modern teen, Natasha, who runs away from home straight into Russian folklore.
The folklore side of things ...more