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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
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The Snow Child (original 2012; edition 2012)

by Eowyn Ivey

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2592172,838 (3.99)255
Member:madeleinescott
Title:The Snow Child
Authors:Eowyn Ivey
Info:Headline Review (2012), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:Read January 2013

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. 31
    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. 02
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (suniru)
    suniru: Both books center upon orphans and both have fairy tale roots.
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» See also 255 mentions

English (213)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (217)
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)

Originally posted here


'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. ( )
  4everfanatical | Aug 19, 2016 |
I still can't decide if I liked this book or not. I enjoyed it all the way to the end, and then I was sort of frustrated with the ending. I guess it had to end that way, fairy tale and all, but I hoped for a different ending. ( )
  KnivesBoone | Jul 29, 2016 |
A little slow at first but all in all a sweet but sad read. The end was satisfying. ( )
  sophapoll | Jul 26, 2016 |
magic in the wilds of Alaska
By sally tarbox on 14 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
A pleasant enough read for a winter's evening, but I agree with another reviewer that the characters were totally 2 dimensional and failed to convince. Mabel seems to change overnight: from a depressed woman, secretly contemplating suicide, and in an incommunicative marriage for the past ten years to a romping romantic. From being turned in on herself and refusing to see anyone, to giggling away with her new friend, the bustling Esther.
It's agreeable chick-lit: if you want a really unputdownable book about a lonely woman and a fairy friend, try Edith Olivier's superlative 'The Love Child' (published by Virago.) ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
I really enjoyed the uncertainty of the snow child's existence. Danger and madness in the Alaskan wilderness seem to be around corner. Great read! ( )
  jkrnomad | Jul 1, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 213 (next | show all)
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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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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.
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Disambiguation notice
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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 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)

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