A Snow White western. That's what this is. It's dark, depressing. The writing is very creative and descriptive. It is definitely not the type of book I normally read (happy!). I was drawn to the beautiful, non-white protagonist (and the cover is beautiful too) and the fairy telling re-telling.
The first half of the book is about Snow's upbringing and told in the first person. Her mother, who was forced into marriage with her father, died after having her. Her father was indifferent and was embarrassed to have a child who wasn't white. So he had very little interaction with her, and she was left to her own devices. He gets re-married, not telling his bride about his daughter. Snow is made to hide and stay out of sight.
There is some kind of magic with the mirror that the step
bitchmother brings from the East. The relationship between Mrs H and Snow is essentially the same as in the Snow White tale we know. This one I would venture to say is even more cruel.
The 2nd half switches to 3rd person and is about Snow White's fight for freedom and belonging. Surprisingly, (because I'm a romance lover!) I liked the ending. It worked.
One thing I liked about the book (and this was Snow's primary objective throughout) was it showed how a biracial child, and then adult, struggled to fit in, belong, and be loved for who they are. People were then and many are still now racist, sexist, homophobic assholes.