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The Snow Child (2012)

by Eowyn Ivey

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8333102,462 (3.98)398
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)
  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. 30
    The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (Iudita)
    Iudita: Beautifully written and based on folklore.
  4. 00
    The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld (beyondthefourthwall)
  5. 00
    The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan (vwinsloe)
    vwinsloe: A folk tale brought to life.
  6. 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 398 mentions

English (304)  Dutch (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  German (1)  Chinese, traditional (1)  All languages (310)
Showing 1-5 of 304 (next | show all)
Vanilla book club novel that reads like a fairy tale without any juicy cruelty, set in the snow-clad, spruce-dense, cold and crisp landscape of Alaska.

It started out so well, bordering on the magical, creating suspense in small loops. But it ended so melodramatic, bourgeois, small minded that the final pages were pure drag and drab, cringing romantic Marie Claire fashion fantasies with your typical middle class wedding event and all the clichés pursued by pining spinster women who are caught in a boring marriage. While the writing is deft, in short scenes, applying alternating POVs and organized in clearly structured parts, the story is devoid of politics, power and naked evil. It is a small world, where both beauty and disaster are caused by a natural world that needs to be tamed by meek, hunting and husbanding homesteaders. This is the little house on the prairie, set in Alaska.

Eowyn’s twelve favourite Alaskan writers (added in the book club version of the novel) should tell us all: she left out David Vann, who has made quite a name for himself with the kind of (not so) fairy tale story that lacks from Ivey’s repertoire. After a good start this novel proved to be a huge turn-off. No more favourite book club novels for me. ( )
  alexbolding | Oct 18, 2021 |
Brilliant writing and a beautiful story. ( )
  jamestomasino | Sep 11, 2021 |
Beautiful writing, Jack and Mabel's relationship and how it continues to grow and change as they age is so realistic and beautiful. Lovely book...highly recommend; 4 stars, only because the middle dragged a bit but picked up with an ending that will make you think afterward about what happened. ( )
  almin | Aug 22, 2021 |
Candy recommendation
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
Beautiful, magical story. Led me to a new understanding of friendship, marriage, and parenthood. I started reading on the recommendation of a friend. Thought it would be a quick "no-thinking read". Instead I found myself reading slowly, re-reading parts, and savoring it all. ( )
  debfung | Jul 12, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 304 (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 DiscothequeKittens | editLibrary Journal | January 2015 | Vol. 140 No. 1, Andrea Tarr (Jan 1, 2015)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ivey, Eowynprimary 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
Monk, DebraNarratorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English

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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.

No library descriptions found.

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)

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