Can we just talk about how I got to read one of my MOST anticipated releases early? Sometimes I don’t think I let that sit in enough. White Fox was explosive. It was atmospheric, thrilling, and it took some time to be able to fall asleep after finishing. Not only from fear, but also awe! Keep reading this book review to see how much I loved White Fox.
After their world-famous actor mother disappeared under mysterious circumstances, Manon and Thaïs left their remote Mediterranean island home—sent away by their pharma-tech tycoon father. Opposites in every way, the sisters drifted apart in their grief. Yet their mother’s unfinished story still haunts them both, and they can’t put to rest the possibility that she is still alive.
Lured home a decade later, Manon and Thaïs discover their mother’s legendary last work, long thought lost: White Fox, a screenplay filled with enigmatic metaphors. The clues in this dark fairytale draw them deep into the island’s surreal society, into the twisted secrets hidden by their glittering family, to reveal the truth about their mother—and themselves.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
I was utterly blown away by The Tenth Girl by Sara Faring, so you know that White Fox is one of my most highly anticipated releases this year. And the core of what I love about Faring’s books – thrilling and detailed atmospheres and elegant writing – were brought into White Fox. From the very beginning, White Fox begins bewitching readers from page one. I can’t put my finger on what it is. The combination of sentences that chill your bones. Or the fact that, from the descriptions, you can practically feel the fog seeping through your windows. The stares when you aren’t looking, and the fear thrumming through your veins.
Or if it’s the newspaper articles and mysterious chapters scattered throughout White Fox, Faring is a genius at creating an atmosphere which swallows you whole. Combined with atmosphere, Faring has these two entrancing characters, Manon and Thaïs. I am a sucker for siblings, especially sisters, and so their sibling relationship resonated deeply with me. The bonds between them as sisters, the tugs and rough patches. How we can feel like we are the side character in our own life, the orbiting side show, and how this fundamentally changes our lives. The way the power of perception spells out promises and possibilities.
Grief and Themes
In White Fox, Faring subtly leads readers through a labyrinth of grief. Of ambition, protection, and secrets. The ways that grief leaves not only an emptiness in our souls, but these bursts of pain when we remember the good. How an open ending, an unanswered question, can feel even more devastating than a bitter ending. I loved how Manon and Thaïs navigate their grief and their relationship with their childhood. The way nostalgia can either turn everything rose colored, or lets you pick out the shadows easier.
The difficulty to see the whole truth behind our memories. How we can become soaked in these special moments, believing our childhood is ours. When we see joy and afternoon treats, but contrasted with these laughs are fragments of truths and crushed glass that leaves it all tinged red. White Fox questions how well we know anyone, especially our parents or parental figures. How, even to those we love, there are still splinters of ourselves that remain mysteries. The images and faces we present to the world, double sided mirages.
White Fox left me internally shrieking for about the last 30%. Faring is a master at creating an eerie tension and atmosphere that only seems to crescendo. If you are a fan of the glamor of Hollywood with an edge, of secrets that hold weight, and stories of family and resilience, then pick up White Fox. It is truly thrilling and terrifying until the end. In the best way.