Friday, 19 August 2016

Review: The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Title: The Snow Child
Author: Eowyn Ivey
Publisher: Tinder Press
Pages: 448
Genres: Fabulist

The Snow Child
Alaska, the 1920s. Jack and Mabel have staked everything on a fresh start in a remote homestead, but the wilderness is a stark place, and Mabel is haunted by the baby she lost many years before. When a little girl appears mysteriously on their land, each is filled with wonder, but also foreboding: is she what she seems, and can they find room in their hearts for her?



'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.'

Set in the untamed wilds of Alaska in 1920, The Snow Child is a modern fairytale that really captured my imagination. It is a slow character driven book focusing on a childless older married couple, Mabel and Jack, as they struggle to make a living off the land of their newly acquired homestead. I really enjoyed the bleak and wintry atmosphere that mirrored their loneliness and their struggle for survival. The vivid descriptions of the Alaskan wilderness was one of my favourite things about this book. The story develops slowly over several years and I felt like I could picture the seasons perfectly so I really appreciated the slow pace.

Mabel and Jack's nearest neighbour, Esther and her family, provided a cheerful break to some of the bleaker scenes. Esther is a no-nonsense matriarch and it was beautiful to see true and lasting friendships develop.

The snow child, Faina was a complete ethereal enigma to me, I was constantly questioning whether she was real and I just needed to know how the story ended. Was she an abandoned girl or a figment of the imagination? I personally thought the ending was just perfect. It's exactly the kind of ending I like. The entire book was just so enchanting and the more I am thinking of it, the more it is growing on me. The overall tone of the book is largely melancholic but is also quietly hopeful, it would be a perfect book to read in the winter.


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