Bibliophile | Gina Inverarity modernises a classic fable with ‘Snow’

by Gina Inverarity
Wakefield Press

ABC online news had a recent headline From the Burbs to the Bush, Animals are Reclaiming and Exploring the World During Coronavirus. Of course, Gina Inverarity wouldn’t have known about that when she wrote her recently published book that predicts that a global catastrophe releases animals that were previously kept in cages for people’s amusement and many of them now roam free.

Inverarity takes the heart of the Snow White story and puts it in a post-global world where sea levels have risen, the fossil fuel industry has collapsed and the world-wide ban on shipping freight and air travel has meant the communities have been isolated. The human population has fallen dramatically, the sun has disappeared behind clouds and the temperature has plummeted.

Snow is born into the world of cold but her mother died when she was born. Her father remarried, only to die 9 years later and Snow’s step-mother locked her away in a cold, dark cell. After 3 years, her step-mother gives orders for a hunter to take Snow into the forest, to kill her and to bring back her heart as proof of the deed.

You know the story … the hunter can’t kill the girl and returns to the chateau with the heart of an animal. In a bleak departure from Disney interpretations, Snow battles the elements and is even accompanied by a motherless bear cub as she heads off into the mountains.

Snow and Little Bear come across a mining settlement and exchange safety for undertaking the domestic jobs while the miners go off to work. She named the men after their personalities – the boss, the clown, the drunk, the peace-maker, the smoker and Lazy. Then there was Leery, Surly and Sinister that she was particularly wary of.

Snow eventually meets a princely fellow who could very well be her saviour. But this is a very modern fairytale and, having returned to live as one with nature, Snow is reluctant for trade her freedom for married city life. As she struggles to make her decision, Inverarity stays faithful to the ancient tale and Snow is killed and put in a glass coffin.

Targeted at young adults, it is a story that no one will want to put down.

Lezly Herbert

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