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

by Eowyn Ivey

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1,6791504,253 (4)206
Member:chive
Title:The Snow Child
Authors:Eowyn Ivey
Info:Headline Review (2012), Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:**
Tags:fiction, Alaska, snow

Work details

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

  1. 30
    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. 01
    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (Iudita)
  3. 01
    Silas Marner by George Eliot (suniru)
    suniru: Both books center upon orphans and both have fairy tale roots.
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» See also 206 mentions

English (145)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (149)
Showing 1-5 of 145 (next | show all)
I had a hard time deciding between a 3 and a 4 star rating. When I first started this book, I found that a lot of times I wasn't very interested in picking it up again. It's not that I hated it-I actually thought it was very good-but it was also quite a slow read with the fairy-tale elements being very subtle. In part two, the fantasy bits were almost non-existent, at least it seemed that way to me.

What made me decide to give it four stars was how beautifully it was written and how much I loved the setting. I love reading about those out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere, snowy settings and I think Ivey gave one of the best portrayals of it. ( )
  Kayla-Marie | Sep 27, 2014 |
Magical realism is hard to get right. It's hard to find the right balance between wonder and acceptance in the characters, and hard to get the reader to suspend just the right amount of disbelief. Unfortunately, I think The Snow Child doesn't get this right.

The Snow Child is about an older, childless couple who move to Alaska to escape the reminders of the loss of their first child. They make a snowman one night, and the next morning it is melted and there is a mysterious girl in the forest around their house. This mirrors a Russian fairy tale - a story the couple knows - about a person made of snow who comes to life.

I have a lot of little quibbles with this book (especially with the portrayal of pioneer life), but my biggest problem with it is that the magic just wasn't convincing... or the lack of magic wasn't convincing, depending on how you look at it. The characters responded with either too much or not enough acceptance of the strange events in their lives, and the whole story felt really contrived to me. Once you know that the story is a retelling of a Russian fairy tale, there's really nothing else to it.

I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was quite good. ( )
  Gwendydd | Sep 23, 2014 |
Beautifully written book! I just wanted to keep right on reading to find out if Jack and Mabel were going to make a go of their farm in Alaska and who was the little girl flitting through the trees with a fox leaving barely a print in the snow. Was she real or was she a figment of their imaginations? If she was real why hadn't anyone else seen her? Wonderful! ( )
  lisa.schureman | Sep 20, 2014 |
Part wilderness story part Fairy tale....Brilliant portrayal of life in Alaska for a pampered Bostonian and her farmer husband.
Buy for the library. ( )
  FaithLibrarian | Jul 18, 2014 |
This is not the best book I've ever read but I did enjoy it. There were mixed reactions at the reading group with some people really hating the fantasy elements. I was quite happy to accept the contradiction of whether the snow child was real or not but some others were not. ( )
  infjsarah | Jun 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 145 (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
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Mabel had known there would be silence.
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Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
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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.
Haiku summary
Set in Alaska,
A gentle tale about a
Snow child. Or is she?
(passion4reading)

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 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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