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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
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The Snow Child (2012)

by Eowyn Ivey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,9602502,777 (3.99)341
  1. 60
    The Girl with Glass Feet by Ali Shaw (Becchanalia)
    Becchanalia: Same delicate language and imagery, a similar sense of wistful beauty and elements of magical realism.
  2. 71
    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (Iudita)
  3. 20
    The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Iudita)
    Iudita: Beautifully written and based on folklore.
  4. 00
    The Gracekeepers: A Novel by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: A folk tale brought to life.
  5. 03
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (suniru)
    suniru: Both books center upon orphans and both have fairy tale roots.
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» See also 341 mentions

English (245)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  All languages (250)
Showing 1-5 of 245 (next | show all)
I loved this book and couldn't put down! I highly recommend to anyone who finds this sounds even a tad interesting. This is completely outside the realm of what I typically read and I am so glad I picked it up! ( )
1 vote Chelz286 | Aug 26, 2018 |
Beautifully written story that drew me in and kept me mesmerized. The writer has the rare ability of being able to bring both places and characters to life. I was enchanted with this book. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
A fairy tale comes alive story. Lots of trapping and killing animals. Not a fan. The story is beautifully written. I felt mostly sad about the story. I need something uplifting and bright, now, I would never make it homesteading in Alaska. ( )
  melanieklo | Jul 25, 2018 |
''There once was an old man and woman who loved each other very much and were content with their lot in life except for one great sadness- they had no children of their own.''

I've often read that it is difficult to write a review about books that left you indifferent, distant. I agree, but for me, writing a review about a novel that left me speechless with its beauty is equally hard. Where do words stop? Where should we stop analyzing and dissecting a work of literature and let the power of the story speak for itself?

Jack and Mabel is a couple that love each other unconditionally and yet, their life together is tarnished by the absence of a child. Their decision to move to Alaska, in a remote area of the Last Frontier, is their final attempt to start anew, on virgin ground, away from their relatives' gossips and silent pity. A tough place to begin again, one may say, but I believe that we are often in need of a shock, in need of a drastic change of environment, to look upon our lives under a new light, to attempt to correct our wrongs or chase our fears away. It is not easy. Far from it. And it is not easy for our protagonists either.

''November was here, and it frightened her because she knew what it brought- cold upon the valley like a coming death, glacial wind through the cracks between the cabin logs. But most of all, darkness. Darkness so complete even the pale-lit hours would be chocked.''

While Jack retains his contact with the ''outside'' world, Mabel stays home waiting, reading, baking pies, slowly letting herself become a vulnerable prey to her sadness. Then, one cold, beautiful, snowy evening, she and Jack decide to let themselves become children again, and a miracle happens. A beautiful child starts visiting them.

No more about the plot, we are treading on thin ice here. Let us turn our focus to the characters. The way Ivey has created the relationship between Jack and Mabel is astonishing. It is a love that is realistic. earthy, devoted and full of equal trust. Jack is like a rock that supports Mabel in her every step, Mabel is tenderness, determination and the sole reason he keeps on going. Actually, they are each other's reason to persevere and tame the wild, formidable nature and make it their home. Mabel adds to the ambiguity of the narration. There is an intense feeling of uncertainty, especially in the first half of the story. Is she a reliable narrator? What is this young girl that seems to appear out of nowhere? Is she a forest child spirit? A creature of winter? Or is she a human child of flesh and blood with an unquenched, primeval instict of survival? The characters that move in the periphery of the action are quite interesting in their own merit. Aside from Faina, Esther and Garrett occupy much of the plot. Esther is a solid character, a strong woman, as strong as the harsh landscape. I'm sure that most of us would like to have her as our close friend. Garrett takes on quite a distinctive role during the second half of the novel.

Ivey writes her tale in a language of impeccable beauty, creating immediate images in the mind of a reader, with a vividness that takes you away, carrying you into the heart of the story. The characters jump out of the page, you are able to smell and feel the wintry air on your face, the aroma of the cold and the fur trees. You can feel the softness of the snow, the crispiness of a newly - formed snowball, the heat from the woodstove and its cozy light around the wooden cabin. There is a nightly ice - skating sequence that is, possibly, one of the finest, most beautiful, heartwarming passages I've ever read.

''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.''

Based on a Russian fairy-tale, this story resembles every bit of the beauty of the Russian folk tales. It is sad, hopeful and sensitive, its characters are people like us. It is an example of how exciting can the mixture of realism and magic realism become when done right. It is a creation of love, nature, darkness and light. A creation of persistance and strength, of all those elements we encounter in our daily lives, those we adopt and the dark ones that we try to scare away. The way I see it, these are the ingredients of a beautiful, classic story. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is certain to become one. So forget all pretentious ''philosophies'' about the ''deeper meaning the author wanted to convey'', and allow yourselves to become children, playing with the snow on a starry night. Escape to a snowy plain in Alaska and let magic in. You will not be disappointed... ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
''There once was an old man and woman who loved each other very much and were content with their lot in life except for one great sadness- they had no children of their own.''

I've often read that it is difficult to write a review about books that left you indifferent, distant. I agree, but for me, writing a review about a novel that left me speechless with its beauty is equally hard. Where do words stop? Where should we stop analyzing and dissecting a work of literature and let the power of the story speak for itself?

Jack and Mabel is a couple that love each other unconditionally and yet, their life together is tarnished by the absence of a child. Their decision to move to Alaska, in a remote area of the Last Frontier, is their final attempt to start anew, on virgin ground, away from their relatives' gossips and silent pity. A tough place to begin again, one may say, but I believe that we are often in need of a shock, in need of a drastic change of environment, to look upon our lives under a new light, to attempt to correct our wrongs or chase our fears away. It is not easy. Far from it. And it is not easy for our protagonists either.

''November was here, and it frightened her because she knew what it brought- cold upon the valley like a coming death, glacial wind through the cracks between the cabin logs. But most of all, darkness. Darkness so complete even the pale-lit hours would be chocked.''

While Jack retains his contact with the ''outside'' world, Mabel stays home waiting, reading, baking pies, slowly letting herself become a vulnerable prey to her sadness. Then, one cold, beautiful, snowy evening, she and Jack decide to let themselves become children again, and a miracle happens. A beautiful child starts visiting them.

No more about the plot, we are treading on thin ice here. Let us turn our focus to the characters. The way Ivey has created the relationship between Jack and Mabel is astonishing. It is a love that is realistic. earthy, devoted and full of equal trust. Jack is like a rock that supports Mabel in her every step, Mabel is tenderness, determination and the sole reason he keeps on going. Actually, they are each other's reason to persevere and tame the wild, formidable nature and make it their home. Mabel adds to the ambiguity of the narration. There is an intense feeling of uncertainty, especially in the first half of the story. Is she a reliable narrator? What is this young girl that seems to appear out of nowhere? Is she a forest child spirit? A creature of winter? Or is she a human child of flesh and blood with an unquenched, primeval instict of survival? The characters that move in the periphery of the action are quite interesting in their own merit. Aside from Faina, Esther and Garrett occupy much of the plot. Esther is a solid character, a strong woman, as strong as the harsh landscape. I'm sure that most of us would like to have her as our close friend. Garrett takes on quite a distinctive role during the second half of the novel.

Ivey writes her tale in a language of impeccable beauty, creating immediate images in the mind of a reader, with a vividness that takes you away, carrying you into the heart of the story. The characters jump out of the page, you are able to smell and feel the wintry air on your face, the aroma of the cold and the fur trees. You can feel the softness of the snow, the crispiness of a newly - formed snowball, the heat from the woodstove and its cozy light around the wooden cabin. There is a nightly ice - skating sequence that is, possibly, one of the finest, most beautiful, heartwarming passages I've ever read.

''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.''

Based on a Russian fairy-tale, this story resembles every bit of the beauty of the Russian folk tales. It is sad, hopeful and sensitive, its characters are people like us. It is an example of how exciting can the mixture of realism and magic realism become when done right. It is a creation of love, nature, darkness and light. A creation of persistance and strength, of all those elements we encounter in our daily lives, those we adopt and the dark ones that we try to scare away. The way I see it, these are the ingredients of a beautiful, classic story. The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey is certain to become one. So forget all pretentious ''philosophies'' about the ''deeper meaning the author wanted to convey'', and allow yourselves to become children, playing with the snow on a starry night. Escape to a snowy plain in Alaska and let magic in. You will not be disappointed... ( )
  AmaliaGavea | Jul 15, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 245 (next | show all)
"Inspired by the Russian fairy tale The Snow Maiden, Eowyn Ivey's deubut novel, The Snow Child (Back Bay: Little, Brown. 2012. ISBN 9780316175661. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9780316192958), features Jack and Mabel, a childless couple grieving their infant son's death. ...richly evokes landscape and nature as it explores the many types of families that find their way into being."
added by KoobieKitten | editLibrary Journal | January 2015 | Vol. 140 No. 1, Andrea Tarr (Jan 1, 2015)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ivey, EowynAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Arlinghaus, ClaudiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Biekmann, LidwienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chapman, IsabelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grinde, HeidiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansen, Marielle NielsenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hill, ToniTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pareschi, MonicaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ransome, ArthurContributorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
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Epigraph
'Wife, let us go into the yard behind and make a little snow girl; and perhaps she will come alive, and be a little daughter to us.'
'Husband' says the old woman, 'there's no knowing what may be. Let us go into the yard and make a little snow girl.'

The Little Daughter of the Snow' by Arthur Ransome
Dedication
For my daughters, Grace and Aurora
First words
Mabel had known there would be silence.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS

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Book description
A bewitching tale of heartbreak and hope set in 1920s Alaska.

Jack and Mabel have staked everything on making a fresh start for themselves in a homestead 'at the world's edge' in the raw Alaskan wilderness. But as the days grow shorter, Jack is losing his battle to clear the land, and Mabel can no longer contain her grief for the baby she lost many years before.

The evening the first snow falls, their mood unaccountably changes. In a moment of tenderness, the pair are surprised to find themselves building a snowman - or rather a snow girl - together. The next morning, all trace of her has disappeared, and Jack can't quite shake the notion that he glimpsed a small figure - a child? - running through the spruce trees in the dawn light. And how to explain the little but very human tracks Mabel finds at the edge of their property?

Written with the clarity and vividness of the Russian fairytale from which it takes its inspiration, The Snow Child is an instant classic - the story of a couple who take a child into their hearts, all the while knowing they can never truly call her their own.
L'Alaska , es forêts impénétarables , ses étendues enneigées . Son silence . Sa solitude. Depuis la mort de leur bébé , le marriage de Mabel et Jack n'a plus jamais été le même . Partir vivre sur ces terres inhospitalières paraissait alors une bonne idée . Peu de temps après , une petite fille apparaît près de leur cabane , parfois suivie d'un renard roux tout aussi farouche qu'elle . Qui est elle ? D'où vient elle ? Et si cette petite fille etait la clé de ce Bonheur qu'ils n'attendaient plus ? Inspiré d'un conte traditionnel ruse , la fille de l'hiver est à la fois un roman moderne et intemporel où le réalisme des descriptions n'enlève rien à la poésie d'une histoire merveilleuse ... dans tous les sens du terme.
Haiku summary
Set in Alaska,
A gentle tale about a
Snow child. Or is she?
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 3 descriptions)

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.--From Amazon.… (more)

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