Sadie Rose’s mother, memory, and voice froze when she was five years old. Suggestive photographs she finds eleven years later begin a thaw for her voice and memory.

Themes of prostitution, political corruption, and prohibition made me wonder at my original perception of Mary Casanova’s Frozen as a young adult [YA] novel. Maybe it was for adults? I tore myself away from the book long enough to find both YA and adult listings! This is not that unusual since adults enjoy good YAs, and young adults reach over into adult shelves.

Her discovery of the pictures leads Sadie Rose from the sheltered life she’s had with the Senator and Mrs. Worthington out into the frontier community of northern Minnesota to seek answers about what happened to her mother and about her own identity. In the process, she stumbles upon her father’s identity as well and the cause of his death. Roadblocks come for her in the form of weather conditions, decisions about whom to trust, and politics of the region. The return of her voice parallels her growth from the shelter of being cared for much like a hothouse flower to an independent decision maker.

The book interrupted my “to do” list often as I kept returning for one more chapter. The only flaw I found in the book was a need to know more about the secondary characters, especially the motivation of the Worthingtons who took Sadie Rose in but were unwilling to be seen as adoptive parents. Perhaps there could be another book from Mrs. Worthington’s standpoint.

Returning to my question – is the book for adults or YA? The answer is “yes.”