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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The Snow Child (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Eowyn Ivey

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2,1912112,962 (3.99)251
Title:The Snow Child
Authors:Eowyn Ivey
Info:Headline Review (2012), Hardcover, 432 pages

Work details

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

  1. 50
    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. 21
    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (Iudita)
  3. 00
    The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: A folk tale brought to life.
  4. 01
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (suniru)
    suniru: Both books center upon orphans and both have fairy tale roots.

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English (207)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (211)
Showing 1-5 of 207 (next | show all)
Eowyn Ivey's The Snow Child draws upon the Russian fairytale of Snegurochka, also known as the Snow Maiden. In his 1869 The Poetic Outlook on Nature by the Slavs, Alexander Afanasyev includes the story of Snegurochka (Snegurka). In this version an elderly, childless couple build a child of snow that comes to life. This myth is mirrored in Ivey's Snow Child where, in the harsh Alaskan frontier of the 1920's, an elderly, childless couple struggle to stake their claim amidst disconnection, disappointment, and grief.

In the glint of freshly fallen snow Jack and Mabel build a snow girl. Inspired by raw emotion and unmet dreams, snow is carved and adorned by the couple. Later, the snow girl lying crumbled, the gloves and scarf are to be seen on a girl running into the woods. Tracks lead from the remains of the couple's creation and the question floats as if caught in a flurry, who is this girl?

Inhabiting the realm between folklore and realism, Ivey's work caresses its readers with the chill and severity of Alaskan snow, the sharp edges of piercing grief, and the warm enticement of myth and mystery. The harshness of homesteading the wilds of Alaska and the interplay between the fragility and strength possessed by Ivey's characters are well developed. The story is simply built and enjoyable.

Though there were a couple parts that fell to a meander throughout, I was caught by Ivey's use of the visual. The rural and wild Alaskan frontier is as much a main character of The Snow Child as Faina, Jack, Mabel, or Esther. Just as their relationships build and bloom with each other, so do we see each character's relationship with the frontier develop and it was captivating to see the differences and similarities. I came away from the book pleased with both the story as well as Ivey's respect for the nature of Alaska's wilds and the struggle and appreciation experienced by those that settled there. ( )
  lamotamant | Jun 23, 2016 |
Next choice for the mother/daughter book club. ( )
  euroclewis | Jun 8, 2016 |
Disarmingly accessible, deeply enchanting. Reads like the fairy tales it draws on, just in novel-length depth. Other reviews say it better. I am hoping some of you can join us in a little discussion here: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1326107-buddy-read-invite-for-the-snow-child... ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
A beautifully written fairy tale for adults. Happy and sad at the same time, the background story that deals with Jack and Mabel's move to Alaska is particularly moving. ( )
  KarenDuff | Jun 1, 2016 |
The Snow Child – Eowyn Ivey
Audio performance by Debra Monk
4 stars

This story kept me guessing. Was it a retelling of a fairy tale; magical realism in the Alaskan frontier? Sometimes, I thought I might be reading historical fiction of the early 20th century as seen through the thoughts of an ‘unreliable’ protagonist. Each time I felt I had it figured out, Eowyn Ivey threw a little twist into the story line to make me doubt my conclusions. The guessing kept me reading, but it began to make me as edgy and tense as some of the characters.

However, by the time I reached the last page, it didn’t matter to me if Faina was a magical being born out of the longing of a childless couple, or a completely human, but neglected feral child. I liked the characters in this book. The magical elements of the story did not detract from the stark realism of the setting or from the natural human traits of the characters. The setting of this story is beautiful and it is described with the bone deep knowledge of a native. But it is the tight cast of characters that makes the story real.

In any version of the fairytale, the childless, old couple are mere sketches of loneliness and grief. Mable and Jack begin as a vague, possibly mismatched, middle-aged pair. As the story evolves their relationship deepens and they emerge as strong, decent, loving people. The story begins with two people grieving the loss of their only child and it ends with another loss, but it didn’t leave me feeling sad. It felt more like a triumph.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
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» 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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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
'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
For my daughters, Grace and Aurora
First words
Mabel had known there would be silence.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


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?

No descriptions found.

(see all 3 descriptions)

Alaska in the 1920s is a difficult place for Jack and Mabel. Drifting apart, the childless couple discover Faina, a young girl living alone in the wilderness. Soon, Jack and Mabel come to love Faina as their own. But when they learn a surprising truth about the girl, their lives change in profound ways.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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