Touching Snow - by M. Sindy Felin
"two sisters try to escape an abusive environment"
In this story, a young Haitian girl, Karina lives with her immigrant family in a suburban area of New York. Her older sister, Enid, takes care of her younger siblings and cousins while their parents work long hours in order to afford common living expenses When the Daddy comes home one night, he discovers his stepchildren’s long hidden secret. Every night they were all required to eat every bit of the food that was prepared for them. To keep from eating too much and getting sick, they routinely threw away the food When he finds the unflushed remains in the toilet, he violently punishes Enid This beating is unlike other beat ups he commonly gave the children. Enid is terribly wounded and social services get involved.
Their mother pleads and persuades them not to tell the truth. She claims that if the Daddy went to jail, they won’t have the financial support they need to survive in America. Karina confesses that it was her that beat up Enid because they got into a fight.
Karina starts going to the community center where she meets Rachael. Rachael soon becomes her best, and only, friend. They become very close and tell each other everything. After learning the true story, Rachael is asked to promise not to tell anyone.
This story is an easy read and will continuously keep you wondering what will happen next. It is the story of a young girl who, along with her sisters, does whatever she can to get her family out of the tragic, abusive environment they’re in.
- Review by Katie B.
"the beautifully written finish left me completely in awe of Karina's strength"
Touching Snow is a book that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go. When Karina and her family move to America from Haiti to start a new life, they go through much more than the average household. The heroine is living under an extremely abusive roof, with a mother that sticks to the old belief that women are inferior to men. When her stepfather, whom Karina refers to as “the Daddy”, beats her sister Enid almost to death, Karina becomes fed up. She decides to take action, knowing that the Daddy will be back even though her mother kicks him out of the house.
She begins going to the local community center and meets the director's daughter, with whom Karina forms a tight friendship. Karina spends more and more time away from home, but soon after she begins to get comfortable with her life, the Daddy comes back to live with them.
All through the book, the sisters - Karina, Enid, and Delta,are tested. The rules are drawn, and they learn that all they have is each other. The climactic finish of this beautifully written story is one that left me completely in awe of the protagonist's strength. When the lives of those she loves are in danger, she steps up to the plate to save herself and her sisters.
The book covers some mature topics, such as graphic child abuse. There are also a couple of parts in which Karina and her friend get a little “too close”, and Karina begins to question her sexuality. All around, this is a great book, and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves to read, but doesn’t like lengthy, drawn out books. This one is small, but it packs a punch.