Sunday, January 10, 2016

Book Thoughts - The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
published 2012
386 pages

Synopsis -

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

My thoughts -

I think this might have just been the perfect book to read as my first of 2016. This is a gorgeous novel, full of snow and cold and the type of story that is perfect for curling up under and blanket and letting yourself get lost. 

I've seen this book described as magical by several friends, and I think that word is perfect. In particular, the juxtaposition between the harshness of life in Alaska in 1920, and the ethereal, fairy-like girl who appears in Jack and Mable's life with no explanation or origin, and then disappears as quickly. I was captivated by the setting, the characters, and the inevitable heartbreak throughout the entire book.

“We never know what is going to happen, do we? Life is always throwing us this way and that. That’s where the adventure is. Not knowing where you’ll end up or how you’ll fare. It’s all a mystery, and when we say any different, we’re just lying to ourselves. Tell me, when have you felt most alive?”

This was a wonderful novel - one I can see myself reading again. Do yourself a favor and get a copy, and spend some time this winter getting to know The Snow Child.

Finished - 1/3/16
Source - South side library
My rating - 5/5


bermudaonion said...

This has been lingering on my shelves far too long. Everyone has loved it so I'm not sure why I haven't picked it up.

Aarti said...

My goodness, I have heard so many good things about this book! I should read it in the next month or two (or, let's be honest, four), while it is still cold to get the full impact of it :-)

Becca Lostinbooks said...

Like Aarti and Kathy, this has been on my TBR for too long. You've renewed my interest in it!

Lucy said...

It was a strange and wonderful book, and you capture its qualities so well. Despite the pervasive cold, there is so much tenderness in it, it warms the heart.

Andi said...

I've had this book on my stacks for absolutely ages. It's definitely a #ReadMyownDamnBooks contender.