The Snow Child

The Snow Child

by Eowyn Ivey
4.4 346


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The Snow Child 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 346 reviews.
Nathan_Dunbar More than 1 year ago
It's really gratifying to come across a book that evokes the senses to such a degree that its flavor is brought to the palate. Such is the case with Eowyn Ivey's debut novel, The Show Child. Infused with aspects of pine boughs, mountain herbs, woolen mittens and inspired by happenstance, it breathes new life into an old Russian children's tale Ivey stumbled upon in her bookstore. We come to know of aging Jack and Mabel through their childless sorrows, playful intense love and survivalist fortitude all cruxing on a belief in dreams and a touch of magic. Through imagery spun with such crispness as to leave a skiff of snow on your heart and the bite of cold wilderness air in your lungs, it's nearly impossible not to fall deeply into the story of Faina and her enchanted sudden appearance. And I must say, the skill with which Ivey works your emotions, ebbing and flowing like tides with each of Faina's disappearances, belies the fact this is her first book. I found myself really believing Jack, Mabel, Faina and the cast of supportive neighbors--pragmatic George, boisterous Esther and their helpful wide-eyed son Garrett--existed somewhere, somehow. I can only leave you with this: when you bring this book into your world, carve out time to give it your full attention. Then make a space for it on your shelf of favorites, it belongs there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Expertly crafted, beautifully written -- a tale I will long remember, wish the story could go on forever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a wonderful story. Could not put it down and was sad when it ended. It was like taking a trip to the wildernes of Alaska.
Icecream18JA More than 1 year ago
This is one book worth marking as a to-read for 2012! Jack and Mabel married a little on the late side and experienced a miscarriage. The sad couple moved to Alaska and tried to bury their unhappiness over their inability to have children. One night, when the two are particularly sad and feeling a little frivolous, they build a snow girl, complete with all of the fixings. The next day, the snow child is gone and footprints are left in her place. The couple do think that this is a little odd, but they must always focus on their own jobs and the event begins to drift from their minds. When the two are going about their business, they begin to see these glimpses of a girl in the woods. It is interesting for the reader to try to decide whether there may be some magic or if the whole event is just a coincidence, the author leaves this up to the readers' imagination. The author manages to convince the reader that the girl is wild, free, and slightly lonely. The young girl, Faina, is certainly a strong main character, but she feels more like a wisp of a character at times-many scenes do not even require her presence, but the reader remembers her nonetheless. The other characters help pull the novel together and move the plot along, they are fun to get to know. The setting was richly described, the author is very good at painting a picture in the readers' mind. The mystery of Faina will remain in the readers' mind long after finishing this book, the mark of a good author is to leave the reader thinking about his/her book long after finishing it. The shift between the real and the magical is barely there, but the reader is always aware of the dividing line, but likely will vacillate between either side. This book is highly recommended to young adult/teen readers.
JadeWant More than 1 year ago
Vividly described and set in the 1920's, this story’s magic transcends imagination while still giving a realistic look at how hard “homesteading” in Alaska was. This book is jammed full of love, loss, suffering, trust, but also joy. Jack and Mabel need a change. They are missing the child they lost and it is too painful to be around all the bad memories. They make a life-changing decision to move and try to make a life in Alaska away from their tragedy. After a heavy, wet snow they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone but a trail of tiny footsteps lead into the woods. For weeks they catch glimpses of something moving in the woods but both of them think they are imagining things. Then a little girl shows up at their door. The beautiful tale begins. The story doesn't drag anywhere and will hold your attention on every page of this heart-warming novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A beautiful story that I will remember and choose to read again and again. The perfect book for a snowy afternoon in front of the fireplace.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! I truly think this will be a classic. Going to buy the real touchable book to have on my real book shelf. One of the top 10 on my all time fav. List..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
What a lovely story full of so many emotions. Is Faina a snow fairy or a real child? The author allows you to decide. She fills her story with lots of suspense too, which makes it hard to put the book down. In fact, I felt a sense of sadness when I finished cause I wasn't for it to end.
RudyGem More than 1 year ago
Loved the story. Authors descriptions of the scenes put me right there in Alaska with the characters. Recommend highly.
Rosebolo More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It was very usual but kept my attention the entire time. It is sweet & fairytale-like but at the same time has some wonderful lessons about life & family. Highly recommend!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thoroughly enjoyed this exceptional tale. Hands down,the best book I've read in a while. Looking forward to future books by Eowyn Ivey, whose name will be renowned after this stunning debut.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very well written, offering the reader a vivid visualization of a rugged Alaska in the 1920's. I could actually feel the cold dampness of the snow and frigid temperatures as the snow child came to life and drifted in and out of Jack and Mabel's lives. Eowyn Ivey described each character with such detail and clarity, that I felt as though I knew them and shared in their struggles with nature, life and the unforgiving landscape of their homestead. George and Esther, along with their boys, were the neighbors who befriended Jack and Mabel and offered such a rich and colorful portrait of what true friendship really is, and is so rare to find. I truly felt as though I got to know the characters in this book and I didn't want it to end. It was such a bittersweet journey of life, love and the undying devotion of people who are intertwined. I hope Eowyn Ivey writes more inspiring books like this one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A truly beautiful book. It touched my heart in so many ways.
autumnbluesreviews More than 1 year ago
What a beautiful tale of love, friendship and adventure in the wild Alaskan frontier. Jack and Mabel a childless middle aged couple left it all behind in the east, including family and friends. Mabel wanted more from life than family get together's and gossip, she wanted to connect with her husband. Although we do not get much detail as to how Jack feels about this move Alaska. There they are, a lonely couple who has only become more estranged amongst themselves. Leading Mabel at times with feelings of desperation at even attempting a conversation with Jack. Mabel worries she has made the wrong choice coming to this wild expansive cold climate that has now left her and Jack barely able to make it through their first winter. But then something magical happens. What are first only footprints in the snow later turn out to be a child. But is she real, a life flesh and blood child, or just a spirit -just a dream? This child named Faina turns the couples life around in ways they could never have imagined. If you believe in fairy tales, if you believe in miracles, if you believe in the innocent love of a child, than this story is for you. I was left breathless at the depictions in this story. The beautiful snow covered mountains, the frozen ponds, the wild flowers, the trees. The hunting and gathering, the way of life in this unforgiving wilderness brings not only changes emotionally, but understanding. The author Ivey brings forth orientation, in a way that anyone who does not live in this type of desolate, expansive, unrelenting climate, feels as if they are truly there. Running through the snow, watching the frozen tundra melt and become a muddy muck in the spring, picking berries and setting traps for wild game. The Snow Child is one of those books one cherishes, sets on the bookshelf and reads year after year, by the crackling of a fireplace. A book one does not lend, for the fear it may never be returned.
jmccannAZ More than 1 year ago
I finished reading The Snow Child a few days ago, and I'm still thinking about it. I loved it. It's sad and sweet and magical and lush. This story pulls at your heart in so many ways. The author does an amazing job of developing the characters so that you get to know each of them, and grow to love them. I didn't want the book to end, to say good-bye. Ivey' description of the 1920s Alaska wilderness is also amazing and the novel is worth the read for that alone.
Annamck More than 1 year ago
This was a great book to read from beginning to end. I was sad the story had to end, it was that good! I loved the way she incorporated an old fairy tale into it. She also had great characters you could connect with. This book won't disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of those books that will leave u daydreaming long after the book is read. Book is full of vivid descriptions, its like being there in person! Such a great read! Loved it!
tori_g More than 1 year ago
My main thoughts on this book: - The novel has a sweet, almost fairytale-like plot but is still grounded. - It is very well written. The author took me there emotionally and physically. This is one of very few books that kept me reaching for the kleenex out of sadness at times and joy at others. - My only complaint is that it did feel slow at times. It's a fairly long read, and I had to push myself through the middle.
Anonymous 29 days ago
The Snow Child written by Eowyn Ivey focuses on the story of Mabel and Jack who, after losing their first born child, decide to recreate their lives on the Alaskan frontier in 1920. On the first blizzard of the year, the couple decides to create a snow child in a fervor of loneliness and longing for a family. They later meet a feral child named Faina, and they watch the child grow into the person she was meant to be. This novel artistically crafts a fairy tale that is focused heavily on the strength of human spirit for longing and perseverance through sorrow. As Mabel and Jack come to love the mysterious “snow child”, they begin to reconcile with each other and begin to patch their relationship that was broken by the ultimate loss parents can experience: the death of their first and only child. The setting in the backcountry of the Alaskan frontier sets up a sense of both wonder and loneliness that plays heavily on the interactions between characters. Ivey alludes to the Russian fairy tale, Snegurochka, or the Snow Maiden, as the basis for the story; early on in the novel, Mabel believes that Faina is the legendary Snow Maiden from Snegurochka, who is actually a snow fairy that comes to an elderly couple every winter. Ivey cleverly creates a parallel between Snegurochka and the main storyline of the novel, by basing Faina on the Snow Maiden as both characters hunt with a fox companion that represents their wildness. According to the Snow Maiden fairy tale, when the girl’s fox is killed by a hunter, the girl becomes returns to the forest, and never makes contact with the elderly couple that had come to love her. Similarly, when Faina’s fox is killed, she does not leave, but instead, she is trapped in the mundane world where she is roped into the role of a wife and mother despite her longing to be wild and free within the mountains of Alaska. This novel, to say the least, is enchanting through its parallel to a lesser known fairy tale, and through its well-crafted setting that adds charm to every aspect of the plot.
MyndiL 8 months ago
While I rather liked the idea of the story, and I felt like it could have been a great one, I think it just didn't get there for me. The writing was beautiful and I was interested in the characters and what would happen next, but it felt like it kind of dragged at the beginning and was very rushed at the end. I'm usually a very big fan of fairy tale retellings, so I really wanted to enjoy this book more than I did. I hadn't ever heard this particular fairy tale before, but I still feel like it's one I could have really enjoyed. The idea of a couple desperately wanting a child and finally able to (sort of) have one is beautiful. The descriptions in the book were in depth. It had almost everything it needed to be a fantastic book, and I'm sure for some it truly was. For me, it was just too slow up until the ending. I really wish we had gotten more information of what happened in the immediate days after what I will call "the tragedy." It was like it happened and then we fast forwarded several years to see how everyone was doing, but we didn't get the sort of closure we needed from the actual event. It was rushed and glossed over. Another warning, this is not a typical HEA book. You will see some happiness but not in the way you would expect.
LisaDunckley More than 1 year ago
This book combines a retelling of the medieval fairy tale “The Snow Child”, with an early twentieth-century Alaskan setting. Mabel and Jack are building a new home on their homestead, the work is hard but fulfilling, and the only thing that prevents their happiness is the previous loss of a child. A little girl appears, hovering between real and supernatural, and they fall in love with her. A modern setting for retelling of a fairy tale is not unique, but the wilderness homesteaders setting certainly is! I would have enjoyed the book just because of the whole “working the land” and building up a home, but I LOVE new versions of fairy tales! Very well-written, characters are very well developed. The book had me spellbound the entire time. Mabel and Jack's love and longing for the child, regardless of reality, are superbly done. Really enjoyed this book!
Storytellermary More than 1 year ago
Eowyn Ivey's THE SNOW CHILD was a wonderful blend of legend and realism . . . beautiful, evocative, satisfying.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved every minute
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gorgeous writing, harshly beautiful subject matter, flirts knowingly with magical realism. A lovely, absorbing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago